Prior to joining NTU in September 2010, Prof. Liu was the Inaugural Director of the Centre for Chinese Studies and Chair Professor of East Asian Studies at the University of Manchester in the UK, where he also served as the Founding Director of Confucius Institute, Head of the Department of East Asian Studies, and Academic Director of the UK Study China Programme, which was funded by the British government with over two million pounds.

Prof. Liu have held a number of visiting professorship/fellowship appointments over the past decade, including at Harvard, Kyoto, Peking, Stockholm Universities, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He was awarded in 2007 the Eminent Yangtze Scholar Award by the PRC Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Li Kashing Foundation in Hong Kong.

Prof. Liu have authored/edited more than 12 books (in English, Chinese, and Indonesian), and over 80 academic articles in journals such as World Politics, The China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China, Critical Asian Studies, Asian Studies Review, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Indonesia,『東南アジア研究』,《历史研究》,and 《中国社会科学季刊》. He have contributed regularly to newspapers and magazines on contemporary social and cultural issues, particularly relating to the Chinese-speaking world, and his interviews have appeared on BBC, Radio China International, Independent, Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, and various print media in Greater China.

His professional and public service include serving as the academic advisor for the University of Edinburgh (MSC in Chinese Studies), London School of Economics (China in Comparative Perspective Network), Tsinghua University (Centre for Chinese Entrepreneurs), World Confederation of Institutes and Libraries for Chinese Overseas Studies, Overseas Chinese Documentation and Research Center, Ohio University, Chairman of the Universities’ China Committee in London and Convener of its Experts Committee, Member of the Tan Kah Kee International Society and the China Studies Syllabus Development Committee (Singapore Ministry of Education), and Executive Committee Member of the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations.