Trump asks Chinese president to help resolve UCLA basketball arrests

Trump asks Chinese president to help resolve UCLA basketball arrests

The case of the three UCLA basketball players arrested in China on suspicion of shoplifting has officially caught the eye of President Donald Trump, who personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help resolve the case, according to the Washington Post. Xi promised the players will receive fair treatment and their cases would be handled hastily, Nakamura reports, citing an anonymous USA official.

The players - Cody Riley, Jalen Hill and LiAngelo Ball - were reportedly arrested last Tuesday in Hangzhou, China, ahead of a season-opening game against Georgia Tech.

In his article, Nakamura also noted that after Trump brought up the matter, Xi promised to take a look at the case. They did not fly home with the team, and ESPN has reported that authorities have surveillance footage and that the players could be required to remain in Hangzhou for a week or two. Trump lamented that the "so far behind" China, while Xi simply noted that the Pacific has room for both countries.

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Trump raised the issue with his Chinese counterpart during a two-day state visit to Beijing.

U.S. officials said the State Department normally takes over cases of American citizens when they are arrested overseas and that the U.S. Embassy in Beijing knows the case is ongoing. Under watch by Hangzhou police, they've been staying at a lakeside hotel where they've been unable to leave.

If the charges have been downgraded, that would be good news, indeed, for the three accused players. They made no public mention of the UCLA case.