TIME is running out for a Sino-British agreement on Hong Kong's political reforms, Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd warned yesterday. Speaking in Washington after meetings with President Bill Clinton and his officials, Mr Hurd clearly hinted that next week's talks with his Chinese counterpart, Qian Qichen, urgently needed to signal a breakthrough. Mr Hurd confirmed he would meet Mr Qian on October 1 in New York and said: ''I will be taking stock of the progress of the negotiations. ''The progress has not been as fast as I would wish. We will be going over the grounds and the reasons for that and how we can make faster progress. ''The clock is ticking, and the time is not infinite.'' Mr Hurd's comments may have been intended to remind China that Governor Chris Patten wants to be able to press ahead with an agreed package when he makes his second policy speech in October. It is nearly a year since the controversial electoral reforms were announced at his debut address, and 11 rounds of talks with China have failed to hammer out a compromise. The bill has already been gazetted and Mr Patten has told Mr Hurd he intends to introduce it into the Legislative Council in the autumn session. However, Mr Hurd's words appear to suggest that, far from hammering out the last details of an agreement for the 1994 and 1995 elections, he and Mr Qian may be more occupied with re-establishing goodwill in the hope of speeding up the negotiating process. The absence from the New York discussions of Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Michael Sze Cho-cheung is also being seen as an indication that no in-depth negotiation will be taking place. Mr Hurd said he did not discuss Hong Kong or China during his meetings with US Secretary of State Warren Christopher, National Security Adviser Anthony Lake and Trade Representative Mickey Kantor. Topping the agenda was the Russian crisis and the Bosnia question, although time was also spent on the problem of hastening an agreement on the Uruguay round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade before the December deadline. In Beijing, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Fan Huijuan, said yesterday that the Sino-British talks on the 1994/95 electoral arrangements for Hong Kong would be successful if the two countries abided by the agreements reached in the Basic Law, the Joint Declaration and the accords between the two foreign ministers. Preliminary Working Committee member Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai agreed with Mr Fan on her arrival at Beijing yesterday. Mrs Fan said both Britain and China should follow previous diplomatic agreements in the upcoming talks.