The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Director Zhang Yimou pays $1.2M fine for having 3 kids in violation of China's 1-child policy

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BEIJING, China - Famed film director Zhang Yimou and his wife paid more than $1.2 million in fines Friday for having three children in violation of China's strict family-planning rules.

A district of the eastern city of Wuxi said in an online notice that its family planning office had received the lump-sum payment and the money was remitted to the state treasury.

Rumours became public last year that Zhang fathered more children than allowed by China's family-size policy that limits most urban families like his to one child. Zhang's studio later confirmed that Zhang, 63, has fathered two sons and one daughter with Chen Ting, 32, and said the film director would co-operate with a government investigation.

The district government subsequently levied the $1.2 million fine against Zhang and Chen. Fines are the usual punishment for exceeding China's family-size limits and are proportional to a person's income.

Zhang is one of China's best-known directors with films such as "Hero," ''House of Flying Daggers" and 2011's "The Flowers of War" starring Christian Bale. Zhang also designed the opulent opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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