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Research Seminars



François Drémeaux
University of Le Havre-Normandie / the University of Hong Kong The French consulate in Hong Kong during the interwar period: distorted hierarchies and civil diplomacy


6 Dec 2018

4:30 p.m.
4.36 Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus



From 1862 until 1949, the situation of the French consulate in Hong Kong was unique: on a British territory, it operated under the orders of the French Legation in Beijing and was highly influenced from Hanoi by French Indochina. The consuls also had to look after the interests of smaller French consulates outside their official constituency, from Longzhou to Fuzhou. A disruptive approach of diplomacy, far from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' rules and specifications.


Not to mention the weight of the French community. Different actors were at stakes, with various concerns and benefits: the agent of the shipping company Messageries Maritimes, the director of the Bank of Indochina or the catholic Procurator of the Foreign Missions of Paris… all examples of the leverages at work around the diplomats, forming layers of civil diplomacy.


Mostly based on diplomatic sources, this case study also aims at enlightening the roles and interactions of French Nationals abroad and their way to structure and organize their community.


Dr François Drémeaux is a Research Engineer at the University of Le Havre-Normandie (France) and Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong. He also teaches at Sciences-Po Paris (Le Havre campus). He studied the evolution of the French community in Hong Kong before extending his work on French nationals abroad outside the imperial process. His research currently focuses on the Normans' networks in global maritime trade (1851-1974).


All are welcome. No registration is required.