SENIOR Chinese officials yesterday adopted a more conciliatory tone over the talks with Britain on Hong Kong's political reforms. Vice-Premier Qian Qichen said the two countries had ''common interests'', despite the existence of ''some problems''. His remarks came after several days of bitter exchanges triggered by chief Chinese negotiator Jiang Enzhu saying that failure to reach an agreement would be ''no big deal''. Mr Jiang also reiterated Beijing's threat to dissolve Hong Kong's legislature in 1997 if Mr Patten unilaterally proceeded with his reform plans. However, Mr Qian told a visiting delegation of British parliamentarians that China and Britain should co-operate to help maintain the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong. ''I'm convinced that we can find a good solution to the problems if the two sides attach significance to their common interests,'' he told the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee chaired by David Howell. But he stressed that ''if one [agreement] fails to be reached, China will have the capability to maintain Hong Kong's prosperity and stability''. And at a weekly press briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wu Jianmin also emphasised the theme of Sino-British co-operation, saying ties would be further improved and developed if a deal on the Hong Kong issue could be made through negotiation. Mr Wu described the Hong Kong issue as ''an important aspect'' of Sino-British ties. However, in Shekou, an official of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office yesterday accused Mr Patten of ''alarmist talk''. Department head Chen Zuo'er was referring to a statement made by Mr Patten last month that political reform was more important than the airport projects. He also rejected Mr Patten's warning in his policy address that Hong Kong people might not have a chance of more democracy if they did not fight for it now. ''He sounds as if tomorrow [and 1997] will be doomsday for Hong Kong,'' he said. Mr Chen claimed the Basic Law provided a more democratic political structure for Hong Kong after 1997 than the Patten proposals. His comments came after the Governor said on Wednesday that Chinese official Lu Ping had threatened Hong Kong people by saying that a breakdown in the talks on the constitutional reform would hurt Hong Kong's economy. Mr Chen said it was inevitable that a collapse in the Sino-British talks would undermine Hong Kong's economy. Mr Chen was attending a conference jointly organised by Hong Kong's Business and Professionals Federation and the National Association for Hong Kong and Macau Economic Studies. They were to exchange views on the Hong Kong 21 report compiled by the federation.