Mao offered US 10 Million Women

Apparently, during a trade negotiation in 1973, Mao offered the US 10 million women.

“You know, China is a very poor country,” Mao said, according to a document released by the State Department’s historian office.”We don’t have much. What we have in excess is women. So if you want them we can give a few of those to you, some tens of thousands.” A few minutes later, Mao circled back to the offer. “Do you want our Chinese women?” he asked. “We can give you 10 million.”

Kissinger, characteristically, gave a clear rejection of the appalling offer:

“It is such a novel proposition,” Kissinger replied in his discussion with Mao in Beijing. “We will have to study it.”

Now, it’s not like Mao treated Chinese men well either, but this is a particularly stark example of the commodification of women. (Thanks, Jender-parents!)


3 thoughts on “Mao offered US 10 Million Women

  1. Having asked myself what else Kessinger could have said in a negotiating position, I’m wondering whether the basic problem is that one shouldn’t pretend to be able to do it – arranging trade agreements with a murderous despot – unscathed. One is bargaining with evil, after all.

  2. Odd as it sounds, Mao was occasionally known for sly humor, and Chinese humor can be pretty crude. Without additional context, I can’t guess whether he was serious or was messing with Kissinger; he was capable of either.

    Regardless, I think Kissinger gave the only answer he could give — a polite blowoff — if he wanted to keep talking.

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