The United States Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) is eying China's large number of engineers to boost its membership.
The 125-year-old institute has nearly nearly 400,000 members worldwide.
Hua Ning, chief representative of IEEE's China office, said Tuesday the association's membership has stopped growing in the United States because of the global downturn.
"China has so many engineers but we now only have around 5,000 members in the country," Hua said during celebrations marking the association's 125th anniversary.
He said China's shift to science and technology-driven growth would bring new chances for the growth of IEEE.
The IEEE was previously the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineering. Since its founding, it has set more than 900 industry standards, including the Wi-Fi standard in 1997.
Beijing is one of the eight cities where IEEE chose to hold its125th anniversary celebrations. Among others are London, England; and Boston in the U.S..
Lew Terman, the 2008 IEEE president, said the association had chosen Beijing because its members in China had made "tremendous contributions" to the IEEE and the profession.
Since 1984, the IEEE has set up branches in seven Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Harbin.