Three college basketball players detained in China for alleged shoplifting have been released and flown home to the United States following an intervention by President Donald Trump.
UCLA basketball players swarmed by reporters as they return to Los Angeles after spending a week under house arrest in China amid shoplifting allegations. #Trump Keeps Winning. pic.twitter.com/C7EnNM7pjr— Kevin W. (@kwilli1046) November 15, 2017
The trio were arrested November 7 and released the next day, although were ordered to stay in the country pending the results of the police's investigation. They had been staying at a US$300-per-night hotel in Hangzhou.
Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2017
The US president raised the case of the University of California, Los Angeles players with China's leader Xi Jinping after they were reportedly caught shoplifting at a Louis Vuitton store in Shanghai during his Asia trip.
With President Trump's strong leadership, UCLA basketball players were released immediately.— Jacob Wohl (@JacobAWohl) November 15, 2017
Under Obama, Tahmooressi, a Marine who took a wrong turn in Mexico, was jailed for 214 days
The trio — Cody Riley, LiAngelo Ball and Jalen Hill — were allowed to leave the country November 14 and flew back to Los Angeles. It remains unclear whether the charges have been dropped outright.
So @realDonaldTrump saves three UCLA basketball players from Chinese prison and it gets less sports media coverage than LeBron ripping Trump on Instagram. Fascinating.— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) November 14, 2017
Gene Block, UCLA chancellor, said the incident was still being reviewed by the university, although he was pleased they had been able to rejoin their families.
"Our primary focus has been on bringing our students back safely. I want to be clear that we take seriously any violations of the law," he said in a statement.
Speaking in Manila on Tuesday, November 14, Trump said the trio could have faced long prison sentences, but described the response by Mr. Xi as "terrific."
"What they did was unfortunate," he added.
President Trump gets Otto Warmbier back from North Korea and 3 UCLA basketball players back from China, and the mainstream media is no where to be found.— Martin Walsh (@mrwalsh__) November 14, 2017
The president has just completed a 12-day tour of Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines, where he met Asian leaders.