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Trump asked Xi to look at cases of UCLA basketball players

14 November 2017

The Washington Post broke the news on Monday that Trump, while on a trip in Asia, personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to help resolve the situation.

President Donald Trump intervened to help the three UCLA men's basketball players, including LiAngelo Ball, who were arrested for shoplifting while in China for a tournament last week.

"While the situation is calmer now, we can not take the current progress for granted", said the draft, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.

China has steadfastly opposed what it calls USA meddling in the dispute over waters also claimed by several South-east Asian nations, and has baulked at the USA navy's incursions into what Beijing considers its territorial waters.

Mr Trump's offer faces major obstacles, as China has steadfastly opposed what it calls USA meddling in the disputes and is unhappy about the U.S. navy's incursions into what Beijing considers its territorial waters in the South China Sea.

"The South China Sea is better left untouched, nobody can afford to go to war".

"We have to be friends, the other hotheads would like us to confront China and the rest of the world on so many issues", Duterte said at a business conference. They made no public mention of the UCLA case.

China and Vietnam need to "stay committed to seeking a fundamental and durable solution to their maritime issues acceptable to both sides through friendly consultation", Xi said in an article published by the state-run Xinhua news agency Thursday - before Xi's arrival in Vietnam.

The communist neighbours have long sparred over the sea, through which $5 trillion in shipping trade passes annually and which is believed to sit atop vast gas reserves.

Since coming to office 16 months ago, the firebrand leader has been conciliatory to Beijing, despite a ruling by an global arbitration court favoring the Philippines in its territorial dispute with China.

"We hope non-regional countries can respect the regional countries' efforts in maintaining the regional stability of the South China Sea, and play a constructive role in this aspect", foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular press briefing in Beijing.

Following Manila's complaint to a United Nations-backed tribunal, the panel ruled a year ago that China's territorial claims in the sea were without legal basis.

Contempt for China runs deep in Vietnam, a country that was colonized by China for almost 1,000 years.

Hanoi and Beijing agreed Monday to keep the peace in the sea, the countries said in a joint statement during a state visit to Hanoi by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Trump asked Xi to look at cases of UCLA basketball players