NANNING, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Border police in south China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region have seized more than 2,600 Vietnamese who attempted to enter China illegally in the fist half of the year, sources with the police said Tuesday.
A total of 2,606 stowaway suspects were intercepted in the first six months, representing a surge of 32.6 percent from the same period last year, sources said.
Most of the illegal immigrants were aged between 16 and 45, who entered China to seek jobs, according to the police.
China's economic boom in recent years has brought a labor shortage in coastal areas like Guangdong and Fujian provinces, which have become a destination for illegal immigrants. About 46 percent are destined for these areas, according to the police.
The other 54 percent of the illegal immigrants crossed the Chinese-Vietnamese border to harvest sugar cane in Guangxi, which accounts about 60 percent of the country's sugar output, the police said.
Guangxi police said they would intensify monitoring and crackdowns on illegal entry of migrants, especially those who are organized to cross the border in groups.