CHINA yesterday attacked Britain for ''playing little tricks'' by leaking information about the progress of the talks on constitutional reforms and putting the blame for the deadlock on the Chinese side. A Chinese official in Beijing criticised last Friday's move by the British side to brief the press on the talks as ''detrimental'' to negotiations. Weekend reports quoted British sources as saying that the first two rounds of talks on 1994/95 elections had attained little progress as China insisted on discussing basic principles while Britain wished to get on to concrete matters. The official said the Chinese side was gravely concerned at the motives of the British side in leaking information about the progress of the talks immediately after the second round of meetings. ''Such kind of press briefing was obviously in breach of our previous agreement to keep the talks confidential. They [the British] seemed to be putting the blame for the deadlock on our side. Such a move was totally unnecessary and wrong,'' the official said. The official warned that it would be difficult for the third round of talks, to be held from May 21 to 23, to proceed to discussion on concrete matters if the British side continued to uphold its stance to violate the ''three accords'' - the Joint Declaration, the Basic Law and previous Sino-British agreements. ''How can the talks proceed to the nitty-gritty issues of the electoral arrangements when the two sides are still divided over matters of principle? We should reach a consensus on the basic principles first, otherwise how can the discussion go any further?'' he said. It is understood that China has not yet put forward its proposals on the electoral arrangements at the talks, due to wide differences between the two sides over the understanding of the ''three accords''. He warned the leakage move would damage the atmosphere of the talks, adding that it would be a futile attempt by Britain to exert pressure on Beijing through the press. Another locally-based Chinese official said: ''If the British side really sticks to the three accords, they should stop claiming that the Patten package is in accordance with the three accords. ''It is ridiculous for the British to insist the Patten package to be its opening position in the talks. It just like turning white into black,'' he said. ''I hope the two sides can resolve the matters of principle and reach a common consensus on the understanding of the three accords at the third round of talks,'' he said. It is understood that China was alerted to the perceived attempt by Governor Mr Chris Patten to bring the Hongkong political controversy to the international forum during his American trip. ''If Chris Patten attempts to play the US card and to exert political pressure on China by using the question of MFN as a leverage, it will inevitably affect the talks later this month,'' he said. The official said Mr Patten's statement, that it was inevitable for him to discuss political issues in Hongkong with American leaders, indicated his attempt to internationalise the Hongkong issue. ''The question of MFN is a matter between China and the United States. We don't need any mediator to interfere into our bilateral relations,'' he said.