Is this sentence inversion? [closed]

I read this sentence in the Economist:

Yet, with China, that risks bringing about the very ruin policymakers are seeking to avoid.

I recognized the sentence as inversion because I think “that risks bringing about the very ruin” is the object of the verb “avoid”.

Can I thus understand the sentence in the following order?
“Policymakers are seeking to avoid risks bringing about the very ruin.”

Thank you in advance!!!

Answer

No, there are 2 problems. In the original sentence “Yet, with China, that risks bringing about the very ruin policymakers are seeking to avoid.” there is a cause and effect implied.

In what is being communicated
In the original sentence ‘that’ points to a cause outside of the sentence that is lost in your rearrangement.

Grammatically
The original sentence has 2 clauses, or sentence meanings. The major clause is “policy makers are seeking to avoid (something)”, and the minor clause “That risks bringing about ruin”, with “the very” being a connecting adjective that points the first to the second.

In your rearrangement “Policymakers are seeking to avoid risks bringing about the very ruin.”, you have taken out “that” which is a noun, leaving 3 nouns policymakers, risk, and ruin. Because every clause needs a subject and an object (2 nouns), your rearrangement (with 3 nouns) means what’s left is either 1 clause, or 1 complete clause and 1 incomplete clause. This changes the meaning of some of the words. “very” becomes an exagerator for ruin, which means “ruin” becomes a verb not a noun.

To improve this you can –
Make it 2 clauses by adding a connective and remove “the very” and “becoming” to make 1 complete clause – risks AND ruin.
Make it 2 clauses by adding a subject noun at the end – the very ruin of (whatever “that” is in the original sentence)
Make it 2 clauses by removing “the very” – Policymakers are seeking to avoid risks bringing about ruin. This last example works but is still clunky because it is an incomplete clause. Ruin clearly acts as the object noun, with the verb bringing, but the preceeding clause doesn’t make it clear what the subject is.

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