NANJING, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Family planning authorities in east China confirmed on Monday that famous film director Zhang Yimou and his wife, Chen Ting, had violated the country's family planning policy.
The couple's three children were born in Beijing in 2001, 2004 and 2006 without approval certificates from family planning authorities, said the family planning bureau of the Binhu District of Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province. Zhang and Chen were officially married in September 2011.
The pair violated the country's population and family planning law, according to the statement.
"(We) hope the party (the couple) will continue to cooperate actively and truthfully declare their real incomes in relevant years so that (we) can deal with the case according to law and announce the results to the public in time," said an official with the bureau.
The bureau will handle the case in accordance with legal procedures.
Zhang, one of the "fifth generation" of Chinese filmmakers, made his directorial debut in 1987 with "Red Sorghum" and has won numerous awards worldwide. He was chief director of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic Games.
In May, media stories claimed that Zhang had remarried and fathered a total of seven children: one with his ex-wife, three with Chen and another three from two mistresses. This has sparked criticism online about celebrities who have more children than the policy allows.
In an open letter on Sunday, Zhang admitted that the couple has two sons and a daughter and they are willing to accept investigation and punishment in accordance with China's laws and regulations. He apologized to the public.
However, the letter denied that Zhang had mistresses and was father to as many as seven children from various mothers.
China's family planning policy was introduced in the late 1970s to stop the surging population by limiting most urban couples to one child and most rural couples to two, if the first child is a girl. Those who flout the policy face hefty fines.