Trump asked Chinese president to release USA basketball players

Sergio Conner
November 14, 2017

TMZ reports that US President Donald Trump has asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to treat the UCLA basketball players fairly during his visit to Beijing last week.

Trump raised the issue with Xi during a dinner held during the USA leader's November 8-10 state visit to Beijing, said the official, who spoke to Reuters in Manila.

LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill have remained at that hotel awaiting resolution of their case while their Bruins teammates returned to Los Angeles after defeating the Yellow Jackets, 63-60, in Shanghai.

Citing a source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation, ESPN last week reported the players could be Hangzhou for "a week or two" while the situation is resolved. The athletes were unable to play in the game, and they remain in China awaiting their fate while the rest of their team returned to the US days ago. Chief of Staff John F. Kelly has reportedly served as an intermediary between UCLA and Chinese officials in the hopes of bringing the players back to the United States quickly. Kelly remains in contact with Chinese authorities, and the anonymous USA official told the newspaper that charges against the three players have been reduced and that the case is headed toward a resolution.

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According to the White House official, Xi said he would be helpful and look into the matter.

"If he keeps this approach up with a growing economic power like China, Trump will be the author of a new global reality: America Second", Schumer said.

-China Trade Relationship Will Top Trump's Agenda In Beijing - "Soft lounge music pipes through the speakers as elegantly dressed shoppers peruse organic produce and meats at City'super, one of Shanghai's most upscale markets, a cross between Whole Foods and Louis Vuitton". The president spent two days in China with Xi, discussing North Korea and trade relations among other issues. They made no public mention of the UCLA case. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who oversees the State Department, also might have spoken about the case with Trump, the official said.

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