UCLA players depart China after Trump asked for Xi’s help

Three UCLA basketball players detained in China on suspicion of shoplifting were headed back to the United States on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had sought the help of Chinese President Xi Jinping from the case.

Staff for Delta Air Lines confirmed in which the players had boarded a Delta flight via Shanghai to Los Angeles.

“What they did was unfortunate,” Trump told reporters earlier in Manila. He said the trio, who have been held since last week, could have faced long prison sentences, as well as described Xi’s response as “terrific.”

“They’re working on in which right currently,” Trump said.

Trump had raised the issue with Xi during a dinner held during the U.S. leader’s Nov. 8 to 10 state visit to Beijing. Trump was from the Philippines capital for a summit of Asian leaders.

Asked about the trio as well as Trump’s discussing the issue with Xi, China Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing in Beijing: “Until currently, I have not received any update, so I am unable to provide any further information.”

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