CHINA yesterday warned the United States against interfering in the ongoing dispute between the Chinese and British governments over the constitutional development of Hongkong. It also reiterated that the US should not tie up the question of Hongkong with Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status for China. Mr Lu's comments come as the Clinton administration is conducting a study with a view to drawing up a new policy towards China. Some congressmen believe that the question of Hongkong and the MFN debate should be linked. But Mr Lu warned that US interests in Hongkong would also be at stake should Hongkong's stability and prosperity be upset, citing hefty investment by the American firms in the territory. ''We believe the question of Hongkong is a matter for the Chinese and the British governments. No third country has the right to meddle with Hongkong affairs,'' he said. ''If any third country gets involved in the current dispute between China and Britain and even resorts to any action, it will only further complicate the question of Hongkong.'' Commenting on the possible linkage of the Hongkong question and MFN by the US, the top Chinese official in charge of Hongkong affairs said: ''If the US links up the question of Hongkong with the MFN issue, I think Hongkong will be the first to suffer, and I think the interests of the US will also suffer. ''We believe the US Government will adopt a wise attitude to the question of Hongkong because the US also has huge interests in Hongkong.'' It would be in the interest of both the US and Hongkong if the prosperity and stability of Hongkong and its status as an international financial and trade centre could be maintained, Mr Lu said. ''If Hongkong can become a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China in accordance with the stipulations of the Basic Law after 1997, whereby Hongkong affairs will be managed by the people of Hongkong and Hongkong will enjoy a high degree of autonomy, it will also be conducive to the US.'' Mr Lu, however, dodged the question of whether China would take a non-co-operative attitude towards Britain on economic matters in the remaining four years of British rule, saying only that it was Britain not China which did not want to co-operate. ''The Chinese side has all along wanted to strengthen co-operation with Britain to ensure a smooth transition and transfer of government in Hongkong,'' he said. ''There are stipulations in this regard in the Joint Declaration. ''We have all along worked in strict observance of the Joint Declaration. Of course, any co-operation will need efforts from both sides. ''The British side has closed two doors of talks between China and Britain. We cannot break in. And since the British side has already shut the two doors, it is difficult to go ahead with talks with Britain now. ''The recent move [to gazette the electoral bill] taken by the Hongkong Governor, Mr Chris Patten, has completely undermined the basis for talks between the Chinese and British governments,'' Mr Lu said. ''In such circumstances, we have to consider how to ensure smooth transition and how to ensure the prosperity and stability of Hongkong in the absence of co-operation from the British side.''