Émilie Tran

Associated Researcher


Email : [email protected]

Institutional Affiliation

Assistant Professor, Hong Kong Metropolitan University

Research Member, Public and Social Policy Research Centre, Hong Kong Metropolitan University.

Research Fellow, Centre d’études et de recherche internationales (CÉRIUM), Université de Montréal (2023-2026).

Thèmes de recherche

  • China’s Health Diplomacy
  • Chinese Diaspora
  • Relations China – Europe, Middle-East and Africa
  • Smart City



A French national of Cambodian-Chinese descent, Emilie Tran holds a PhD. in history and civilizations (EHESS, Paris). Since January 2023, she is Assistant Professor of Politics and Public Administration, in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Hong Kong Metropolitan University.

She arrived in Hong Kong in 2000, as an associate researcher at the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China in Hong Kong (2000-2004). She taught at the University of Macao (2004-2007), and the University of Science and Technology of Hong Kong (2007-2008). In 2008, she became Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor at the University of Saint Joseph in Macao (2008-2016), where she also served as coordinator of the Department of Public Administration and International Relations, and Dean of the Faculty administration and leadership. From 2016 to 2023, she was the Director of the Bachelor of Social Sciences in European Studies and then, the Director of the Transdisciplinary Undergraduate Programmes at the Hong Kong Baptist University.

Her research focuses on China’s relations with Europe, the Middle East and Africa, from two angles: the Chinese diaspora and health diplomacy. She has been invited to share her research insights at the Brookings Institution, Chatham House and the Doha Forum. Among her current research works, she is co-editing two books (Leiden: Brill): Handbook on the Chinese Migrations to Europe, and Handbook on the Chinese Migrations to the Middle East and Africa.

In 2021, Emilie Tran received the President’s Award for Outstanding Performance in Teaching at Hong Kong Baptist University. She is also a Knight of the Order of Academic Palms [Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes académiques], a distinction from the French Republic to academics and teachers for their contributions to education and science.

Since 2018, Emilie Tran is an elected representative of the French nationals living abroad [Conseillère des Français de l’étranger].

Current Research Projects

  • 2022-2025 European Commission Erasmus+ (Team Member/Junior Expert) (Project ID 101085026) HKD98,491. Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence – Improving Institutional Trust in Times Of Pandemics (IITTP).
  • Jul. 2022-Jun 2025 Hong Kong University Grants Committee General Research Fund (Obtained as Principal Investigator, and now Co-Investigator as due to change of employer) HKD762,687. How China Speaks to The World In The Covid-19 Era China’s Political Communication and Mobilisation in Europe


Co-edited volume
Cole, A., Baker, J.S., Tran, E. & Gao Y. (2022). ‘Transnational and Transdisciplinary Lessons of COVID-19. Switzerland, MDPI.

Peer-reviewed articles and book chapters (selection)
Tran, E. (2023). Twitter, Public Diplomacy and Social Power in Soft-Balancing China–France Relations. Journal of Contemporary China. DOI: 10.1080/10670564.2023.2193150

Tran, E. & Yahia H. Zoubir (2023). China’s Health Diplomacy: A Cold-War-Style Battle of Narratives. In K. P. Tan (Ed.) Asia in the Old and New Cold Wars: Ideologies, Narratives, and Lived Experiences (pp. 157-188). Palgrave Macmillan.

Zoubir, Y. & Tran, E. (2023). China’s ‘Health Silk Road’ Diplomacy in the MENA. In Y. H. Zoubir (Ed.). Routledge Companion to China and the Middle East and North Africa (pp. 240-254). Taylor & Francis.

Cole, A., Lai, C., Stivas, D. & Tran, E. (2023). The ‘Smart City’ between urban narrative and empty signifier: the case of Hong Kong. In A. Cole, A. Healy and C. Morel-Journel (eds.). Constructing Narratives for City Governance: Transnational Perspectives On Urban Narration (pp. 101-123). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Cole, A. & Tran, E. (2022). Trust and Smart City. China Perspectives, 2022/3.

Cole, A. & Tran, E. (2022). Trust and the Smart City: The Hong Kong Paradox. China Perspectives, 2022/3.

Tran, E. (2022). Role Dynamics and Trust in France China Coopetition. Mediterranean Politics. DOI: 10.1080/13629395.2022.2035138

Tran, E. & Zoubir, Y.H. (2022). INTRODUCTION TO THE SPECIAL ISSUE China in the Mediterranean: An Arena of Strategic Competition? Mediterranean Politics. DOI: 10.1080/13629395.2022.2035125

Zoubir, Y. & Tran, E. (2021). China’s Health Silk Road in the Middle East and North Africa Amidst COVID-19 and a Contested World Order, Journal of Contemporary China. DOI: 10.1080/10670564.2021.1966894

Tran, É. and Chuang, Y. H. (2020). “Social Relays of China’s Power Projection? Overseas Chinese Collective Actions for Security in France”. International Migration, 58(3): 101-117. doi:10.1111/imig.12627

Tran, É. (2019). “Marseille: bientôt un comptoir chinois?”. Confluences Méditerranée, 109(2): 33-46. doi:10.3917/come.109.0033

Ho, W.-C., & Tran. E. (2019). “Hong Kong–China Relations over Three Decades of Change: From Apprehension to Integration to Clashes”. China: An International Journal, 17(1): 173-193.

Tran. E. and Matias J. C. (2015). “The Macau Forum and China’s Soft Power in the Making: Training the Elite of the Developing Portuguese Speaking Countries” (with José Carlos Matias), China: An International Journal (indexed and abstracted in SSCI), Volume 13 Number 1 (April 2015), pp. 93-112.

Tran. E. (2007). École du Parti et formation des élites dirigeantes en Chine. Cahiers internationaux de sociologie 2007/1 (No. 122). (pp. 123-144) 2007.