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等于usage in article from New York Times 1/9/17.

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By Yi Zheng Lian



I’m struggling to accept that 等于in the following passage is being used well. I feel uncomfortable with 上诉法庭 (“the appeal court”) functioning as the subject of 等于 (“equivalent to/tantamount to”). Are my reservations justified or have I misunderstood the way 等于can be used? Any help appreciated.




The outcry that followed the recent resentencing was not so much about the tough punishments as the unusual manner in which the appeals court handled the case. The proceeding was supposed to focus on the lower court’s sentences, but it went much further and reinterpreted the facts of the case. The court effectively claimed in its ruling that the three activists had used premeditated violence to occupy public space.



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The usage is quite well and idiomatic.

Apparently developed from an ellipsis of [上诉法庭这样做]实际上等于[上诉法庭在判决中宣称……]

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Thanks a lot for your answer! I puzzled over it for while but was no clearer. 

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