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Trump asked Xi to resolve Ball arrest

14 November 2017

A US media report says President Donald Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to personally intervene in the case of three American college basketball players who were arrested on shoplifting charges last week in Hangzhou.

Xi promised to look into the case and ensure that the players be treated fairly, a USA official told the paper.

According to David Nakamura of the Washington Post, Trump made the appeal during his two-day visit to Beijing, just a day after the arrests.

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News of the arrests was widespread not only in the United States but also in China, breaking just a day before Trump arrived in the country. They were released on bail early Wednesday morning and have been staying at a lakeside hotel in Hangzhou since then.

According to a report over the weekend from ESPN, the players could be in China for another week or two, dependent upon how quickly the legal process can be resolved. The source noted that there is surveillance footage of the players shoplifting from three stores inside of a high-end shopping center, which houses Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Salvatore Ferragamo stores.

The three did not play in the team's season opener against Georgia Tech on Saturday in Shanghai, and did not fly back to Los Angeles with the rest of the team.

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Several experts in Chinese law said charges and accompanying punishment will dependent on the value of the stolen goods.

Donald Trump is trying to do what the UCLA men's basketball team couldn't do: take its Ball and go home. He'll be fine. Everybody making it a big deal.

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Trump asked Xi to resolve Ball arrest