Michael Holtz, The Christian Science Monitor

Michael Holtz

The Christian Science Monitor

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Past articles by Michael:

In China’s Belt and Road initiative, environmentalists see risky business

Environmentalists and local villagers have raised concerns about a hydroelectric dam being built on the Batang Toru River – part of China's massive "Belt and Road" infrastructure program. → Read More

A Sumatran fishing town's message for Rohingya refugees: Welcome

More than 1 million Rohingya have fled persecution in Myanmar, with most headed to crowded camps in Bangladesh. But about 1,740 have landed in Indonesia's Aceh province, where some locals say shared faith has guided their response. → Read More

China's forced evictions: One migrant family's story

Although migrants have been important contributors to Beijing’s economic growth, they have also placed a considerable burden on its infrastructure and public services. Over the past three years, officials have embarked on an aggressive campaign to limit their numbers. → Read More

Emboldened China – and its webizens – telling foreign firms to fall in line

China has increased pressure on international companies to use Beijing-approved language for areas it considers its sovereign territory, such as Tibet and Taiwan. A nationalistic consumer market makes those orders hard to ignore. → Read More

Beijing's message for young Taiwanese: We mean business

China's effort to bring Taiwan under mainland control uses plenty of sticks, like the fear of military force. But it's also using carrots – like financial incentives to woo young Taiwanese people fed up with their island's sluggish economy. → Read More

Japan builds a head of steam for an alternative to nuclear

Hot springs are popular for relaxation in Japan. A government-based push to expand geothermal electricity capacity since the Fukushima nuclear disaster worries innkeepers who fear losing out to power plants. → Read More

Japan wants Fukushima evacuees to go home. They're not so sure.

About 160,000 people left their homes in 2011, after an earthquake and tsunami triggered the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Today, the government says it's safe for many to return. But regaining residents' trust remains a challenge. → Read More

For China, Olympic dreams and 'snow business' in winter sports boom

China will host the Winter Olympics in four years. New investments in ski resorts and other winter sports double as bets on service industries like tourism becoming a greater economic driver. → Read More

In northeast China, a test for Beijing's big bet on fairer growth

For decades, the Communist Party's fate was tied to the pace of economic growth. Now, amid a changing economy, President Xi has emphasized his vision for a fairer society. But that dream can seem distant in regions hard hit by the transition. → Read More

With N. Korea front-and-center on Trump trip, will South China Sea take back seat?

Whether and how President Trump will discuss China's growing assertiveness in the South China Sea remains an open question. The issue now appears to be a secondary US priority – but a pillar of Beijing's plan for greater influence. → Read More

This year, as winter nears, residents of China's coal country turn to gas

Shanxi province's coal helped fuel China's economic boom. But as awareness about the risks of pollution grows, officials in the provincial capital are cracking down on heavy industry and shifting to natural gas – giving workers a cleaner, if uncertain, future. → Read More

Abe win points to continued pressure on N. Korea – and Japan's pacifist Constitution

Prime Minister Abe's party won a snap election on Sunday, suggesting approval for his firm stance on North Korea. But he faces a steep climb getting public support for a long-sought plan to revise the Constitution's constraints on the military. → Read More

Xi proclaims party 'leader of all' in renewed vision for China and beyond

President Xi's opening speech for the Chinese Communist Party Congress – expected to solidify his status as its most important leader in decades – reaffirmed a Party-first path for China, whose growth he held up as a model for other countries. → Read More

Bangladesh opens doors – and hearts – to fleeing Rohingya

Residents of Bangladesh, one of the poorest nations in Asia, are scrambling to provide hundreds of thousands Rohingya refugees pouring over their border with some semblance of normalcy. → Read More

As waters recede, Bangladesh takes stock – and plans for more flood-prone future

Thanks to geography, Bangladesh is one of the most flood-prone countries in the world, particularly vulnerable to climate change. But as the country's economy grows, so may its ability to cope, adapt, and plan ahead. → Read More

Who are the Rohingya? What you should know about Myanmar's deepening crisis

The Muslim minority group has been fleeing Myanmar for years. But military operations in response to a Rohingya militant group's attacks in late August have sent hundreds of thousands more to neighboring Bangladesh. → Read More

In rush of tests, North Korea’s timing chafes China – and its US relations

Stability is key for Chinese leader Xi Jinping ahead of a major leadership conference next month. Pyongyang may be attempting to turn up the pressure on China-US relations this fall before Beijing considers harsher options, analysts say. → Read More

On heels of reform report, Myanmar violence muddies prospects for Rohingya minority

A militant attack has renewed violence in Rakhine state, home to a Muslim minority group whose treatment has drawn international criticism. Advocates argue that greater economic development and social justice are prerequisites for progress. → Read More

Eying next generation of patriots, Beijing propaganda tries a new look

A recent hit film film and video put the spotlight on Beijing's efforts to package propaganda for young, 21st-century audiences – a campaign with pop idols frequently on the frontlines. → Read More

Following damage caused by economic rise, China tackles ambitious conservation experiment

The government intends to combine three separate regions of Sanjiangyuan to create China’s first national park, setting aside an area the size of Pennsylvania. China is also working to set up a series of other trial national parks around the country. → Read More