CHINA yesterday gave a further assurance that it would honour its commitment towards Hongkong after 1997 - even if London broke its promises before the handover. But Mr Zhou Nan, Beijing's official representative in Hongkong, warned that China would have to dissolve the Legislative Council on July 1, 1997, and replace it with a ''new kitchen'' if Britain stuck to the political package put forward by the Governor,Mr Chris Patten. Mr Zhou, Director of the New China News Agency's Hongkong branch, made his comments in an interview with pro-China English-language weekly magazine Window, founded by former Executive Councillor Mr Lo Tak-shing. His comments drew criticism and cautious response from legislators. United Democrats chairman Mr Martin Lee Chu-ming said: ''If a through train brings a system which is not democratic, that means Hongkong will continue to have no democracy after 1997, as it is the case before 1997. I don't think it is worth boarding sucha through train.'' His liberal colleague, Mr Cheung Man-kwong, said it was too early to say that the 1995 Legco would be disbanded in 1997. He cast doubts on the move to drop legislators from the through train since members of the 1995 legislature would have been given a public mandate through elections. Public confidence would be seriously undermined should Beijing decide to kick some legislators out of Legco, Mr Cheung warned. But Executive Councillor Professor Felice Lieh-mak maintained that China's plan to start a ''new kitchen'' was not necessarily a bad thing. ''We can have a better idea of the Chinese policy towards Hongkong. If the people selected [to start the kitchen] are responsible and capable of looking after the interests of Hongkong and China, I don't see a problem with it,'' she said. In the interview, Mr Zhou made clear that the setting up of a ''new kitchen'' did not imply Beijing would abrogate the Basic Law and the Joint Declaration. ''It simply means that if Britain does anything which will not converge with the Basic Law, or breaches the various agreements reached in the seven letters, we would have to disband the Legislative Council (the British kitchen) and reorganise in 1997 in terms of the Basic Law,'' he said. ''Even if Britain does not adhere to its undertakings before 1997, China will still adhere to her undertaking after 1997.'' He said China remained firm on its stance that there should be no ''third party'' in the Sino-British talks, referring to British insistence that Hongkong officials be part of negotiations on the Patten plans. Mr Zhou, who is said to have adopted a tough line on the Sino-British ''talks for talks'', made clear that Beijing was united on the question of starting a ''new kitchen''. Sources have said that the Premier, Mr Li Peng, though considered a hardliner, had been comparatively moderate on the question of setting up an alternative government structure in the run-up to 1997. Mr Zhou said: ''I have pointed out before that all the Chinese leaders are genuine patriots. On questions that hinged upon national pride, it will be futile to look for 'differences' among them.''