The U.S. State Dept. tells TMZ Sports they are aware of the LiAngelo Ball, UCLA shoplifting arrests in China ... and are ready to step in if called upon.
"We are aware of reports of three U.S. citizens arrested and subsequently released on bail in China," a State Dept. official tells us.
"We stand ready to provide appropriate consular assistance for U.S. citizens. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment."
As we previously reported, LiAngelo -- along with UCLA basketball teammates Jalen Hill and Cody Reily -- were arrested for allegedly jacking merchandise from a Louis Vuitton store near the team hotel.
The players have all been released from custody but have been ordered not to leave the hotel until approved by Chinese authorities.