Curriculum Vitae



  • Senior Lecturer

  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Dean's Office
    Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences


Started his research career in the think tank sector, Dr. Lee Chee Leong (Karl) is attracted to the rise of non-traditional diplomacy in the international order today. Such appeal has taken Dr. Lee into new research horizons that started with his Monash University's doctoral research on the Chinese sub-state diplomacy in China-ASEAN economic cooperation. With constructive supervision by Professor Helen Nesadurai and Associate Professor Kuik Cheng Chwee, Dr. Lee completed his doctoral thesis that unravels how a faraway and least developed sub-state of Guangxi managed to overcome its own hurdles, navigate the complexities within the Chinese state and become the frontline actor in China-ASEAN economic cooperation. 

Following his doctoral completion, Dr. Lee's research on non-traditional diplomacy has expanded into Taiwan’s quasi-state diplomacy in Southeast Asia. Such quest has led him spending at great length in comprehending the concept of soft power, a concept that finds its relevance to Taiwan, which has no official diplomatic with Southeast Asia but is heavily connected to the region and has to rely on soft power in its engagements with these Southeast Asian nations. Taking Malaysia as the first case study of Taiwan's soft power in the region, Dr. Lee is developing the third intervening variable correlating both Taiwanese soft power resources and outcomes, in his course of providing a dynamical explanation for such phenomenon. For the coming years, his research focus and publications will be on the different areas featuring Taiwan-Malaysia and Taiwan-Southeast Asia cooperation such as digital social innovation (DSI) for climate change, industry-based education/training programmes, smart cities, tourism, digital democracy, agriculture, public health and medicine, ornamental aquaculture and aquascape. 

To date, Dr. Lee was the recipient of several scholarships and fellowships in Malaysia and overseas: University of Malaya’s Graduate Fellowship (2010-2011); Monash University’s Merit Scholarship (2016-2019); Chinese Government Scholarship (2018-2019); and Taiwan Fellowship (2020). Prior to his appointment as Senior Lecturer at the Institute of China Studies (ICS), he was the Visiting Scholar at Guangxi University for Nationalities (GXUN) (2018-2019), Taiwan Fellow at National Chengchi University (NCCU) (2020) and Associate Fellow at ICS UM (2016-2019).

He welcomes any potential PhD candidate who would like to work on Taiwan-Southeast Asia relations, Taiwan's soft power in Southeast Asia and Taiwan-Malaysia DSI cooperation for climate change. He is also willing to discuss with potential doctoral candidates on proposals related to the Chinese sub-state (provincial) diplomacy toward ASEAN, China's soft power in ASEAN, Southeast Asian sub-state diplomacy, comparative cases of sub-state diplomacy around the world and conceptual innovation of sub-state diplomacy as well as soft power. 

  • Ketua Tingkat (Institut Pengajian China, ICS) - Pasukan Tindakan Kecemasan (ERT), University Malaya, 15/12/2021 to present
  • 1-Year Ordinary Membership, Member, 2022 to present (International)
Area of Expertise
  • INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (Taiwan and Southeast Asia, China-ASEAN relations, non-traditional diplomacy, soft power, smart power)
  • Research Interest
  • Taiwan's quasi-state diplomacy in Southeast Asia (Taiwan, quasi-state diplomacy, Southeast Asia)
  • Theorisation of Taiwan's soft power through comparative cases in Southeast Asia (Theorisation, Taiwan, soft power, Southeast Asia)
  • Taiwan's digital social innovation (DSI) against climate change (Taiwan, digital social innovation (DSI), climate change)
  • Taiwan-Southeast Asia DSI cooperation for climate disasters and environmental protection (Taiwan, Southeast Asia, DSI, climate disasters, environmental protection)
  • Taiwan-Southeast Asia DSI cooperation for local governance (Taiwan, Southeast Asia, DSI, local governance)
  • China's sub-state (provincial and city) diplomacy in Southeast Asia (China, sub-state diplomacy, Southeast Asia)
  • Conceptualisation of China's soft power in Southeast Asia (China, soft power, Southeast Asia)
  • China-ASEAN relations and Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) (China, ASEAN, BRI)
  • Comparative multi-layered diplomacy and paradiplomacy in Asia and Europe (Multi-layered diplomacy, paradiplomacy)
  • Theory-building for multi-layered diplomacy and paradiplomacy concepts (Theory-building, multi-layered diplomacy, paradiplomacy)
    (Course Title),(Level of Study),(Institution),(Academic Session)
    International Partners
  • ASEAN Secretariat, Asean in a Globalised World, Bachelor/First Degree (2021)
  • Teaching Activity
  • AIF1013 - ASEAN IN A GLOBALISED WORLD, Bachelor/First Degree, University Malaya (2021)
  • AIF3014 - LECTURE SERIES ON ASEAN, Bachelor/First Degree, University Malaya (2022)
  • AIG2012 - SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION IN CHINA, Bachelor/First Degree, University Malaya (2022)
  • AOD7004 - SOUTHEAST ASIAN REGIONALISM, Master, University Malaya (2022)
    (Title of publication in APA style)
    Refereed Journals
    • Lee, Chee Leong. (2021). Malaysian Politics after Sheraton Move 2020: Inter-Coalition and Intra-Coalition Political Dynamics. Asia-Pacific Research Forum, 69, 49-96.
    Book Chapter
    • Lee, Chee Leong & Md. Akhir, Md. Nasrudin. (2021). Malaysia-China Relations During the Movement Control Order (MCO) Period and Beyond: Assessment from the Mutual Trust Variable. In Nian Peng (Ed.). The Reshaping of China-Southeast Asia Relations in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Singapore: Springer, 2021.
    Postgraduate Student
    (Title of Thesis),(Name of Candidates),(Institution),(Academic Level)
    • Research on the Impact of the “Belt and Road” Initiative on the Development of Ukraine, Haipeng Zhao, University of Malaya (PhD)
    • Nanning City’s Diplomacy in China-ASEAN Economic Cooperation, CHEN KHONG LING, University of Malaya (PhD)
    Academic/Professional Services
  • Non-Resident Fellow, 30/04/2022 to 29/04/2025, International, (Research Fellow/Associate)
  • Panel Assessor for Proposal Defence in Asia-Europe Institute (PhD Candidate: Liu Lu), 28/04/2022 to 28/04/2022, University, (External Assessor)
  • Panel Assessor for Candidature Defence in Asia-Europe Institute (PhD Candidate: Angaindrankumar Gnanasagaran), 25/02/2022 to 25/02/2022, University, (External Assessor)
  • Panel Assessor for Proposal Defence in Department of East Asian Studies (PhD Candidate: Wang Wenqi), 28/01/2022 to 28/01/2022, University, (External Assessor)
  • Curriculum Committee Member for Master Programme in Department of East Asian Studies (DEAS), 13/07/2020 to 12/07/2025, University, (Reviewer)
    (Title),(Event),(Date Presented),(Organiser),(Level)
  • Building Resilience Through Digital Social Innovation in Malaysia? Lessons from Taiwan and the Prospect for Cooperation, International Conference on Regional Cooperation for Sustainable Economic Development, 21/04/2022 to 21/04/2022, Belt and Road Strategic Research Centre (BRSRC), Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (International)
  • Malaysia-Taiwan Relations: An Appraisal, Collaborative Webinar 'An Appraisal of Taiwan-Southeast Asia Ties', 02/03/2022 to 02/03/2022, Jindal School of International Affairs Nehginpao Kipgen Center for Southeast Asian Studies & Taiwan Asia Exchange Foundation (TAEF)  (International)