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Director Zhang Yimou fined $1.2M for having 3 kids

Director Zhang Yimou Fined $1.2M for Having 3 Kids

BEIJING (AP) - Famed film director Zhang Yimou must pay more than $1.2 million in fines for having three children in violation of China's strict family planning rules, officials said Thursday.

A district government in the eastern city of Wuxi said in an online statement that investigators concluded that the director of "Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers" and his wife, Chen Ting, flouted family planning policies by having the children without approval and before they got married in 2011.

China limits most urban couples to one child and rural families to two if the first-born is a girl. Zhang, who has a daughter with his first wife, could legally have one child with Chen, but the two were not married when their first child was born and did not have a birth permit, in violation of China's rules.

The fines are based in part on the couple's annual income. The government of Wuxi's Binhu district said they earned a total of about $580,000 in the years before each of the children was born.

Reports that Zhang had violated the country's one-child rule started to circulate in May. Binhu authorities said they were put in charge of the investigation in July because Chen is a registered resident of the district even though she lives in Beijing.

By late last year, Wuxi family planning officials publicly complained they could not get in touch with Zhang, who eventually issued an apology for the "negative social impact" he had created and promised cooperation with investigators.

Zhang's studio confirmed in a statement that Zhang has fathered two sons and one daughter with Chen, but denied reports of other children born before they were married.

The case raised questions among members of the public about whether Zhang's social status had allowed him to dodge the family planning rules for years.

The district government said it adopted more severe standards in levying the fines against Zhang and Chen because their violations were particularly flagrant.

Zhang and Chen have 30 days to pay the fines. They may also seek an administrative review or file a court petition if they object to the fines.

Zhang could not immediately be reached Thursday for a response, although he said in December that he would willingly accept any punishment meted out in accordance with state rules.

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LilAnnie2012 January 10 2014 at 1:00 AM

One more thing...again! One of my grandsons has a biological father who breezes in once in a blue moon to brag about how many kids he has! He doesn't pay child support for even one....he's has nine! And he's only 28!!! His kids didn't ask to be born.....goes for all of the other kids who have dead-beat s.o.b.'s for so-called 'fathers'!! I couldn't help but rant this time! Maybe the Chinese government is smarter about this than ours!

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LilAnnie2012 January 10 2014 at 12:53 AM

One more thing...to the men who are good fathers....thank you! And our girls should be curtailed, too. The guys aren't the only 'wrong' ones....I didn't mean to imply that! Sorry, guys! They hit puberty....birth control should be mandatory!!!! Government issued! Seriously, the kids are the ones who get hurt the most!!! Not cool!!!

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LilAnnie2012 January 10 2014 at 12:49 AM

Do they regulate how many kids people can have because of space and resources? In a way, I think they should and our country should, too. For different reasons. There's too many dead-beat-dads here, ask my grandsons.....! Good reasons there should be stricter laws here! I can understand the space and resources....we're going to be in the same situation if 'sperm donors' aren't curtailed!!! And our kids are the ones who suffer.....Take note, dead-beats!!!!

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cocoaspider January 10 2014 at 2:03 AM

There is plenty of space still. But we are running out of fresh drinking water, the resource that is most critical to human survival. We've depleted our aquifers and poisoned our rivers. The earth has a human capacity limit of between 9 to 14 Billion. We will reach this number in 30 to 40 years. China was so overpopulated that the government put these restrictions in place. Because most humans are not bright enough to know when to stop reproducing. And who would want to place a child in this world knowing it will have to go to war over fresh water and also food.

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pearlnestor1 January 10 2014 at 12:18 AM

Good man that he's willing to pay the fine. I think it's sad that these kind of decisions can't be made between a husband and wife. I just worry what if he doesn't have the cash to pay for it even if he is a famed Director. Of course in his country it would seem like someone in a higher class who can pay for his indiscretion, can get an extra privilege. Any government that can dictate how many children you can have just strikes me as oppressive. If he can't pay the fine, what would China do? Ask him to murder his own child to balance the census? I sincerely hope it NEVER comes to that. Something is very wrong with this Earth if a man and woman who love each other so much that they cannot have the blessing of new life.

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cocoaspider January 10 2014 at 2:12 AM

Oppressive? We are running out of fresh drinking water and safe food to eat because we have the world over depleted our aquifers and poisoned the rivers and oceans (a major food source for us humans). The earth has only so many resources for human survival. We practically ruined if for future generations. Plus, the earth is so overpopulated (again, not space-wise but resources-wise) that even the survival of those that are alive today can no longer be guaranteed.

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bulletinboardsn January 09 2014 at 9:54 PM

Just curious, let's say a rich dude has a mistress (not uncommon in the good ole days of China) and she gets preggers, then has another one (again not uncommon for a rich man) with his other mistress does he violate the 1 child law or that counts against the women instead. I would think birth control is a big business there.

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kdpitts1955jeanette January 09 2014 at 9:25 PM

I believe people should be able to support the children they have. We have so many birth controll
methods, for people to have children they can not afford, it is unfair to the children and others who have to pay to take care of them. If you have children you should be able to love, and support them

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ogreaves January 09 2014 at 8:37 PM

If you can afford to support your kids, you should be allowed to have them. This country allows to people to have many kids and let taxpayers support them.

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3 replies to ogreaves's comment
Denise January 09 2014 at 8:26 PM

Birth permit, omg.

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madigan2 January 09 2014 at 8:23 PM

It's an evil rule that causes people to murder girl children at birth. Nothing is worth that. Nothing at all.

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jamesnoury January 09 2014 at 8:17 PM

Wish we had that law here.

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