AS many as 12,000 Vietnamese women have married and settled illegally in Guangxi and are causing serious social problems there, a news agency reported yesterday. The semi-official Hong Kong China News Agency (HKCNA) yesterday said Guangxi authorities were greatly alarmed by the influx of these 'illegal Vietnamese brides'. It said the Chinese Government was negotiating with Hanoi to stem the inflow. One solution was to draft a regulation to govern marriages across the border, the report said. In just one border city, Pingxiang in Guangxi, there were more than 570 such 'illegal brides', the HKCNA said. The report claimed many of these brides were also traffickers of opium, heroin and weapons into China and some were even behind prostitution rackets. According to the HKCNA report, Guangxi had repatriated more than 2,500 Vietnamese women in the past two years and, among them, 131 were found to have contracted venereal diseases. The report also blamed the Vietnamese women for being the catalyst behind the significant rise of marital problems in Guangxi. The HKCNA report added that there were difficulties in repatriating the Vietnamese mothers without splitting families in China. 'Many of these women returned to Vietnam under the persuasion of the Chinese Government, but then they had difficulties in bringing their children back to Vietnam,' it explained. 'This has created an extra burden to China's border population and economy,' it added.