[General] Please help check a sentence:

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jiaruchan

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China still regards Taiwan as a renegade province that must eventually come back into Beijing's political fold, by force if necessary, although Ma's election has cooled the atmosphere dramatically.

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I don't have problems understanding it. But for the phrase 'by force', do you think it is logically good to put it there?

My point is:

The sentence tries to mean China could take Taiwan into its reign by force. (implying China uses force.)

However, the clause is written like: Taiwan could come back into Beijing's political fold, by force if necessary. (sounding like Taiwan uses force, although that's not what the writer means.)

I would like to hear your opinion. Thank you.
 

savedhamlet554

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The first sentence - as it is written down with commas - is grammatically correct and it DOES actually mean that China will use force to make Taiwan come back if they have to.

I don't think the original sentence says that it's Taiwan who uses the force. You could understand it both ways. But with the first version it is made absolutely clear that it is China who will use the force.

:)
 

jiaruchan

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The first sentence - as it is written down with commas - is grammatically correct and it DOES actually mean that China will use force to make Taiwan come back if they have to.

I don't think the original sentence says that it's Taiwan who uses the force. You could understand it both ways. But with the first version it is made absolutely clear that it is China who will use the force.

:)

I think the question can be simplified as this:

Taiwan will come under China's rule, by force if necessary.

Do you think 'by force' is well used here?
 
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