CHINESE and Hong Kong officials are set to meet again soon to discuss preparation of the territory's budget, despite outstanding differences over China's role in the 1996-97 budget. The first meeting last month ended with differences unresolved over whether China should be consulted over the 1996-97 budget. Senior Chinese officials insisted the Government should consult China because it would affect the 1997-98 budget. Financial Secretary Sir Hamish Macleod yesterday denied there had been a change in stance over discussions with China. He said: 'Our position has been very clear and consistent. It has not changed. 'We have handed over to the Chinese side a detailed programme of proposed activities and we are awaiting their response.' A Chinese experts' team will be invited to observe planning and preparation for the 1996-97 budget. Beijing will only be consulted on the 1997-98 budget from 1996. Legislators yesterday endorsed a Government proposal to create two Finance Branch deputy-secretary posts to tackle issues related to the transitional budget and airport core projects.