gunboat diplomacy

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gunboat diplomacy (countable and uncountable, plural gunboat diplomacies)

  1. (idiomatic) The pursuit of foreign policy objectives with the aid of conspicuous displays of military power.
    • 1956 Dec. 3, Acclaim & Misgivings, Time:
      The British and French, who had sought to make policy by reviving 19th century gunboat diplomacy, had temporarily lost their credentials for world statesmanship.
    • 2004 Feb, 21, Yan Hua, China warns Taiwan with military exercises, Asia Times Online (retrieved 23 March 2015):
      China has ratcheted up its standard gunboat diplomacy—the repeated warnings that it would use force if necessary to unite the island and mainland—more than a month before Taiwanese voters go to the polls.


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