Zhang Yimou

Film director Zhang Yimou has no regrets over fathering 3 children in China

Zhang Yimou answers questions online over his three children born in the mainland and his US residency

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 December, 2013, 12:13pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 December, 2013, 3:14pm

Zhang Yimou’s studio says on its verified Sina Weibo account the acclaimed film director has no regrets about his children being born in China, in response to public speculation over why Zhang gave up his US green card.

Three days after the authorities confirmed Zhang’s violation of family planning rules, the director’s studio took to social media on Wednesday night to answer lingering questions.

Zhang, the director of internationally acclaimed films including Raise the Red Lantern and Hero, admitted he hand his wife Chen Ting had two sons and a daughter in contravention of Beijing’s one-child policy and said he was willing to co-operate with the family planning commission to rectify his wrongdoing.

Media outlets have estimated Zhang and his wife could be fined for 240 million yuan for breaching the rules, reported The Beijing News.

“Why did the director give up his green card ten years ago? Why didn’t he immigrate? Why not have children in the US? If he did, none of this would have happened” the studio’s verified weibo asked.

“We often asked ourselves the same thing”, it added, “He only says he himself is a Chinese [and] is happy to have his children be Chinese with no regrets,” it responded.

Zhang applied for US permanent residency in 1999 so his daughter from an ex-wife could settle down and study there.

Less than year after the application was approved, Zhang went to the embassy and relinquished his residency.

American officials were shocked; they had never seen someone return a green card before, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

A native of Xi’an in the Shaanxi province, Zhang moved to Nanjing in Guangxi province after graduating from the Beijing Film Academy in 1982. He has never abandoned his Guangxi hukou (household registration).