Detained trio on Trump agenda at Xi dinner

China | 15 Nov 2017

Donald Trump sought the help of President Xi Jinping in the case of three UCLA basketball players detained in the mainland on suspicion of shoplifting last week, a senior White House official said.

Trump raised the issue with Xi during a dinner held during the US leader's November 8-10 state visit to Beijing, said the official in Manila. Trump left Manila yesterday after attending a summit of Asian leaders.

The three UCLA men's basketball players were detained by police in Hangzhou over allegations of shoplifting and were not on the team's return flight to the United States on Saturday, ESPN reported.

According to the White House official, Xi said he would be helpful and look into the matter. The official said the players had so far been given relatively light treatment as a result of Trump's intervention.

"It's in large part because the president brought it up," the official said.

The UCLA team had been in China for the season opener against Georgia Tech in Shanghai, which UCLA won 63-60.

The three students - freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill - were taken in for questioning by police about alleged shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store during a visit to Hangzhou.

They were released, but are barred from leaving China and confined to a luxury hotel in Hangzhou pending legal proceedings, sources familiar with the matter said.


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