In contrast to the mainstream media’s depiction of Mr. Trump as being incompetent when it comes to international diplomacy, the President just saved three people from years of captivity.
Three UCLA players were released from Chinese custody after Mr. Trump intervened on their behalf by personally speaking with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The athletes faced up to 10 years in a Chinese prison on a possible grand larceny charge, as reported by The Daily Caller.
LiAngelo Ball, along with two of his UCLA basketball teammates, were freed from Chinese custody Tuesday when President Donald Trump personally intervened on their behalf. The trio boarded a Delta flight home after being detained for over a week, allegedly stealing from a Louis Vuitton store.
Mr. Trump spoke directly with his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping about the players during his trip to Asia. The players were released from custody 24 hours later.
LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill were permitted to leave after the situation was “resolved to the satisfaction of the Chinese authorities,” said Larry Scott, commissioner of the Pacific-12 athletic conference, according to CNN.
“We are all very pleased that these young men have been allowed to return home to their families and university,” he added. The three were arrested last week while their team was in the city of Hangzhou, after being questioned on suspicion of stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store near their hotel.
The commissioner acknowledged the President’s role in the players’ release, saying, “We are grateful for the role that our Chinese hosts played, and for the courtesy and professionalism of the local authorities. We also want to acknowledge UCLA’s significant efforts on behalf of their student-athletes…Finally, we want to thank the President, the White House and the US State Department for their efforts towards resolution.”
If the trio had were convicted of grand larceny, the players would have faced a prison sentence of up to 10 years, according to Chinese criminal law. Before Mr. Trump’s intervention, Ball’s father, LaVar, said in a statement on social media that the process might take months.
In light of the release announcement, President Trump tweeted, asking “Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!”
UCLA said that basketball coach Steve Alford along with athletic director Dan Guerrero will address the issue during a news conference on Wednesday. The trio did not play in UCLA’s 63-60 win against Georgia Tech on Saturday, and the remainder of the team returned to the US after the match.
President Trump scored two big victories with the Chinese President. Does the media give short shrift to President Trump on foreign policy matters?
Nor was this the only development to come from President Trump’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart. After having spoken with Mr. Trump concerning North Korea’s military build-up last week, Chinese president Xi Jinping dispatched a “special envoy” to discourage Kim Jong-un from his aggressive political stance, according to The Telegraph.
These developments are a stark contrast to how the mainstream media would prefer to depict Mr. Trump as being diplomatically obtuse. It’s quite clear that nothing could be further from the truth.