MR Martin Lee Chu-ming seems obsessed with the proverbial Legislative Council through train to July 1, 1997 and beyond. Over the past week Mr Lee and his United Democrats cohorts have made two or more overtures to the New China News Agency, even though he has stated on record that the future sovereign power could not be trusted and that the wrangling over the Joint Declaration, Basic Law and whatnot has been a plot to deprive the people of Hongkong their rights. Mr Lee's latest article in the South China Morning Post (Monday) has thankfully shorn itself of the past rhetoric. The volte-face is timely. On Remembrance Day 1992 Mr Lee warned the Legislative Council that ''democracy and convergence are not mutually incompatible. It is unfortunate however that the Communists do not practise what they preach . . . Indeed all this talk about political convergence and a through train model is nothing more than the weapon which the Chinese Communists use to intimidate Hongkong people . . . It is only that some members [of the legislature] are just too keen on riding the through train, which means that they willchoose to look the other way, or even tell tales unabashedly in broad daylight.'' But less than six months later Mr Lee writes that: ''Beijing will not derail a legislative arrangement that is good for the people of Hongkong. Those who assume that China will deliberately destroy a structure that is fair and reflects the wishes of the people of Hongkong take a dim view of the PRC indeed.'' When others modify their opinions on China, Mr Lee accuses them of being unprincipled and of making U-turns. But when Mr Lee becomes himself equally, if not more, malleable, he wants others to hail him as a pragmatist. While the leader of the United Democrats twists, turns and squirms in his latest article, vacillating between doubting the integrity of China and praising its good sense, he conveniently ignores some salient points. One is that the convergence and through train concepts originated not in China but with the British Government which also convinced the Beijing leadership that it was sensible to have four-instead of three-year elections as had been the norm in Hongkong.The person who first broached this idea was Timothy Renton, the then Minister of State for Hongkong. HAD the Chinese not acceded to the British models the next Legislative Council elections would be in 1994, then 1997, and the whole dispute over through train today would not exist. Having acknowledged British wisdom that it would be traumatic to hold elections and change sovereignty in the same year, the Chinese felt hurt that Britain reneged on the seven exchanges of letters between their foreign ministers. Most people now agree with us and Mr Lee (the April 1993 version) that it is vital for Hongkong that the remaining period of transition be smooth and that goodwill on both sides as well as trust prevail. We are heartened, too, that Mr Lee and the United Democrats are now following our lead in trying to establish contacts with the future sovereign power because common sense dictates that only through dialogue could all parties reach an understanding as well as a living arrangement. This is not appeasement but necessary accommodation. The Preparatory Committee of the Liberal Party wishes to see the through train roll on with legislators who board after the 1995 elections still in the coach after a pause to acknowledge the change of sovereignty. We realise that China has to assert its sovereignty, symbolically at the very least, once Hongkong has evolved into a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic. The British also recognise this as they continue to negotiate with China to define more precisely what the criteria of this through train arrangement are and how these would be practised. While accepting the sovereign prerogative of China to ask all legislators to owe allegiance to the Special Administrative Region, we do not believe that it is right for the future government to bar individual law makers on the basis of their personality or political views. Through the years since the Joint Declaration much ill-feeling has been stirred in Hongkong by those who wish to create a climate of political paranoia. We knew long ago that it was folly to poison the present relations between Britain and Hongkong and the same in the future between China and the Special Administrative Region. The apt metaphor would not be the trite one of the through train once the issue is settled but ''water under the bridge''. The Chinese Government no doubt grasps the importance of ensuring a seamless transfer of sovereignty. This is why the Chinese and British governments are talking. This is also why China has assured Hongkong civil servants that their pensions would not bejeopardised. This is why China is discussing the future of Hongkong, the Special Administrative Region, with groups as diverse as representatives of the district boards, political figures and the business lobby. This is why the United Democrats are keen to talk to China to catch up on lost opportunities because the people of Hongkong are getting fed up with so much posturing and shouting on both sides of the Shenzhen River. So turn down the bluster and turn up the volume of reason. Allen Lee Peng-fei is a Legislative Councillor and chairman of the Preparatory Committee of the Liberal Party.