China fines Zhang Yimou $1.2m over one-child policy breach

File photo: Chinese director Zhang Yimou Mr Zhang confirmed he has three children with his wife

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China has fined popular film director Zhang Yimou more than one million dollars for violating the country's one-child policy.

The director, who said he has three children, has 30 days to pay 7.5m yuan ($1.2m, £729,000), state media say.

Mr Zhang, known for directing the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony in 2008, in December apologised for violating the strict policy.

China introduced the policy in the 1970s to curb population growth.

The policy until recently limited most urban couples to a single child. Rural families were allowed to have two children if their first-born was a girl.

But last year, China said it would relax the policy - families will be allowed two children if one parent is an only child.

The family planning bureau in Binhu district, Wuxi city, Jiangsu province, sent Mr Zhang a letter collecting the "social maintenance fee", Xinhua news agency says, citing the district's official microblog account.

The fine was calculated based on the income of Mr Zhang and his wife, Chen Ting, when their two sons and daughter were born, the Binhu government said.

The couple made $580,000 in 2000, 2003 and 2005, the Binhu government added.

The wife of Mr Zhang - who denied reports he fathered more children with other women - is from Wuxi city.

Mr Zhang, 61, directed some of China's most successful films, including Hero, the House of Flying Daggers and the Flowers of War.

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