The World Semiconductor Council (WSC) has invited the China Semiconductor Industry Association (CSIA) to join as a member, underscoring the growing clout that China\u2019s chip industry wields.CSIA formally accepted the invitation on Tuesday during a meeting with WSC officials in Beijing, it said.WSC is part of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), a U.S. industry group. The council brings together semiconductor associations from countries to discuss policy issues such as market access, intellectual property protection and environmental protection.WSC members include SIA and industry associations from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Europe.China\u2019s membership in WSC will benefit domestic chip makers by giving them a voice in discussions with groups from other countries, WSC said, calling China "the world\u2019s largest and fastest-growing major semiconductor market."China\u2019s semiconductor market has grown from US$2 billion in the mid-1990s to more than $26 billion in 2004, said IDC, a market analyst. That growth is expected to continue in the years ahead, topping $46 billion in revenue by 2008.The rapid growth of China\u2019s semiconductor market makes it "vital" to bring China into the WSC, SIA said on its website. "Doing so will provide us a valuable forum through which to address issues before they become harmful," it said.-Sumner Lemon, IDG News Service (Beijing Bureau)Related Link:\n\nU.S. Streamlines Controls on Tech Sales to ChinaCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.