A SENIOR Chinese official yesterday accused Britain of having no sincerity in reaching an agreement on the 1994/95 electoral arrangements with China. A vice-director of Xinhua (the New China News Agency), Zhang Junsheng, said an agreement could be reached overnight if Britain stuck to the three accords. ''We have always wanted to have an agreement. But if Britain doesn't, what can we do? . . . No matter what happens, our Chinese Government will join hands with the people of Hong Kong to set up the Special Administrative Region in accordance with the Basic Law,'' Mr Zhang said. He insisted that there was no question of China making concessions as Britain had done by revising the original Patten package. ''It's they who have jumped the gun, and they need to go back to the starting point. We have not jumped the gun,'' he said. ''The question of a Chinese 'hardline stance' does not exist. We don't want to adopt a hardline stance. We just abide by the Joint Declaration, the Basic Law and the previous agreements.'' Defending comments by Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen that municipal councillors and district board members could not serve beyond 1997 if there was no agreement, Mr Zhang said matters relating to China's resumption of sovereignty should be discussed by both sides. ''Without an agreement, [the municipal councils and the district boards] should be re-organised and confirmed by China,'' he said. ''Despite saying that the Basic Law has not provided for them to get off the through train, the Basic Law also has not provided a through-train for them.'' When asked if Beijing would accept lowering the voting age to 18, Mr Zhang said it was not difficult to resolve details of the political package if they were not covered by the three accords. The Chief Secretary, Sir David Ford, said yesterday that Britain wanted an agreement with China to secure the continuity of lifestyle in Hong Kong after 1997 - but not at any price. Speaking after an address to the Australian Chamber of Commerce, Sir David said the Governor had made it clear that the British side had its principles when negotiating over his reforms. ''These principles are important to us and they are important to the future of Hong Kong as well,'' he said. ''So it's got to be that balance in the final analysis, that difficult judgment to be made over the next few weeks and months.'' In his address, Sir David said the Government would work hard to ensure continuity of lifestyle, of policies, the rule of law, the free market, and open, fair and accountable government. He also stressed the importance of having a credible legislature which would act without fear or favour. Meanwhile, a deputy director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Chen Ziying, said in Hong Kong that it was not yet time for his superior, Lu Ping, to meet Governor Chris Patten to discuss the impasse.