BEIJING yesterday dashed hopes the Sino-British rift was softening, and denied earlier reports that the foreign ministers of both countries would meet in March. Hongkong and Macau Affairs Office Director Mr Lu Ping said China was preparing fresh attacks against the Patten package, and relations would never improve unless it was scrapped. ''We're on a counter-attack,'' he said during an interview with TVB. Mr Lu hinted the March summit between British foreign minister Mr Douglas Hurd and his Chinese counterpart may be cancelled. Quoting a written text, he repudiated reports that Chinese Foreign Minister Mr Qian Qichen had told a delegation from Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hongkong (DAB) the meeting would go ahead. DAB chairman Mr Tsang Yok-sing told the Sunday Morning Post last night that it now seemed there had been ''a bit too much optimism'' after their recent visit to Beijing late in December, which led to reports of a softer tone among Chinese officials. But a British Government source in London hit back at Mr Lu's remarks, saying China now seemed ready to break the airport Memorandum of Understanding, calling for six-monthly meetings between the two foreign ministers. ''This marks a further escalation of pressure from Beijing clearly aimed at influencing the Legco vote,'' he said in an interview.