Trump aids players’ release from China
LOS ANGELES: Three UCLA basketball players detained in China on suspicion of shoplifting arrived back in the US yesterday after President Donald Trump said he had sought the help of Chinese President Xi Jinping in the case.
The players landed at Los Angeles International Airport yesterday evening, their heads down. The three – LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill – declined to speak to throngs of reporters.
“What they did was unfortunate,” Trump said in Manila. He said the trio, who had been held since last week, could have faced long prison sentences. Trump described Xi’s response as “terrific”.
Trump had raised the issue with Xi at a dinner held during Trump’s November 8-10 visit to Beijing.
Asked about Trump’s discussing the issue with Xi, China Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said he was unable to give further details.
The players, from the University of California, were detained in the city of Hangzhou and were taken in for questioning about alleged shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store. – Reuters