Widespread media coverage of the collapse of the Rainbow Bridge in Chongqing and other shoddy building projects has helped raised public awareness of the importance of quality, Vice-Minister of Construction Ye Rutang said yesterday. He played down the accidents as 'individual incidents' but said the media coverage had made an impact on the public. 'One good thing about the coverage is that it draws people's attention,' he said. More stringent regulations would be issued soon to prevent accidents. 'The Ministry of Construction has put the quality of projects, especially housing, on its priority list,' said Mr Ye. 'Not only should we pay attention to housing quality, we should also ensure the quality of the highways and bridges.' The Rainbow Bridge, in Qijiang county, collapsed last month killing at least 40 people. The accident sparked a nationwide outcry over the poor quality of public projects and rampant corruption in the industry. So far, 12 officials, including the local Communist Party secretary, have been detained over their roles in the incident. Speaking in Hong Kong ahead of the 20th International Union of Architects Congress, to be held in Beijing in June, Mr Ye said he was not worried about the glut of housing in China. 'Those apartments that fit customers' requirements sell very fast, while those that don't will have no market at all,' he said. More residential housing would be built this year. China built a total 350 million square metres of housing last year, up 17 per cent from 1997. However, Mr Ye declined to say how many had been sold last year. Dou Yide, secretary of the Architectural Society of China which is sponsoring the congress, said China would propose a 'Beijing Charter' during the nine-day meeting. It would outline the achievements and future of the architectural industry, he said. The event will be the first time the congress has been held in Asia.