NANNING, May 29 (Xinhua) -- A year ago, Chu Van Phong moved from Vietnam to Pingxiang on the Chinese side of the border to work as a loader for a fruit retailer.
"Not only do I make more money, but now I have insurance, which makes me feel more secure," said Phong.
Like Phong, a large number of Vietnamese have crossed the border looking for jobs as day laborers or long-term employees.
Since the two countries began labor cooperation in February last year, nearly 100,000 Vietnamese workers have come to China.
"Vietnamese laborers who used to enter China illegally now go through the proper process, which protects their rights," said Zhang Tianjun, a human resources official in Pingxiang.
Cities in southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region have lost a lot of their labor force to more developed costal regions.
In Chongzuo, a city that produces more than one fifth of China's sugar, the labor shortage could reach 50,000 during the sugar cane harvest. The situation is compounded by the city's booming manufacturing industry.
"The influx of Vietnamese laborers has gradually eased the shortage in Guangxi," said Zhang.
The labor program has not only helped Vietnamese workers earn better wages, but has contributed to better relations between the two countries, said Sun Xiaoying, a researcher with the Academy of Social Sciences in Guangxi.
Vietnam has benefited a lot from China's growth since the late 1970s, especially through border trade, said Phung Thi Hue, a researcher on China with Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences.
"Each year, up to 1.5 million Vietnamese enter the job market," Hue said. "The growth in border trade and closer relationship will attract more Vietnamese to seek jobs in China."
Donglin, a manufacturer in Dongxing city in Guangxi, employs several dozen Vietnam workers.
"Vietnamese are hard-working and very efficient. My company plans to install a new production line and hopes to employ more workers from Vietnam," said Chen Lizuan, chairman of the company.