IF geography is indeed destiny, as Chairman Mao reportedly told Mrs. Imelda Romualdez Marcos during their first historic meeting in Beijing in September 1974, then the Philippines and China must be destined to be neighbors forever, separated only, as the Chinese leaders like to say, by a "narrow strip of water."

As China seeks to become a dominant world power and the Philippines a significant regional player, they have a duty to remain good neighbors, at peace and in close cooperation with each other. This view is shared by many people worldwide.

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