China Probes Director Zhang Yimou on One-Child Rule, Xinhua Says

Chinese movie director Zhang Yimou, who directed the opening ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is being investigated for violating the country’s one-child policy, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Family planning authorities in the eastern city of Wuxi, where Zhang’s wife lives, are compiling a report on their probe that will be released soon, Xinhua reported. Movies Zhang has directed include “To Live,” “Hero” and “Flowers of War,” which starred actor Christian Bale. Zhang was nominated for an Academy Award in 1991 for the film “Ju Dou.”

A weekly entertainment magazine published by the Nanfang Media Group reported last week that Zhang had at least four children. In China, violating the one-child policy can lead to fines and has in some cases led to forced sterilizations. In June, officials in the western Chinese city of Ankang were suspended from their duties after they were accused of having forced a local woman to abort her seven-month-old fetus because she couldn’t pay a 40,000 yuan fine ($6,524).

A woman who answered the phone at Creative Artists Agency Inc.’s Beijing office, who declined to give her name, confirmed that the company represents Zhang. An e-mail sent to the agency seeking comment from Zhang wasn’t immediately responded to.

— With assistance by Henry Sanderson

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