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Philippines, Land and Resources

The Philippines is bounded on the east by the Philippine Sea, on the south by the Sulu and Celebes seas, on the west by the South China Sea, and on the north by Luzon Strait. The Philippine Islands lie off the southeastern coast of the Asian mainland, across the South China Sea from Vietnam and China. The shortest distance to the mainland, from the northern Philippines to Hong Kong, is about 805 km (500 mi). The Philippine Islands extend about 1,850 km (1,150 mi) from north to south (between Taiwan and Borneo Island) and about 1,100 km (700 mi) from east to west. Malaysia and Indonesia, which each hold territory on Borneo, are the republicís closest political neighbors.

The Philippines covers a total area, not including its extensive coastal waters, of 300,000 sq km (116,000 sq mi). More than 7,100 islands and islets are included in the Philippine archipelago. The 11 largest islands make up more than 90 percent of the total area. Only about 460 islands are larger than 2.6 sq km (1 sq mi), and about 1,000 are populated.

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