In international politics, the term gunboat diplomacy refers to the pursuit of foreign policy objectives with the aid of conspicuous displays of naval power, implying or constituting a direct threat of warfare should terms not be agreeable to the superior force.
- Wilhelm II styled himself Admiral of the Atlantic, though that ocean had never been claimed to be an inland waterway. The fleet of gunboats that cruised up and down the Yangtze was a standing temptation for the local representatives of the Great Powers to give point to their often unreasonable demands by a demonstration or the threat of a bombardment. Many instances could be given of this kind of 'gunboat diplomacy' in the interests of missionaries, private debtors and even ordinary Christian converts.
- K. M. Panikkar Asia and Western Dominance: a survey of the Vasco Da Gama epoch of Asian history, 1498–1945
- Kissinger now proposed three dangerous initiatives. The United States would illegally allow Iran and Jordan to send squadrons of U.S. aircraft to Pakistan, secretly ask China to mass its troops on the Indian border, and deploy a U.S. aircraft carrier group to the Bay of Bengal to threaten India. He urged Nixon to stun India with all three moves simultaneously. Kissinger knew that the American public would be shocked by this gunboat diplomacy. “I’m sure all hell will break loose here,” he said.
- Bass, G. J. (2014). The Blood telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a forgotten genocide. ch 16