THE tabling of the partial electoral bill in the Legislative Council yesterday sparked off another round of criticism from China, dashing hopes for the resumption of Sino-British negotiations. Xinhua (the New China News Agency) issued a statement immediately after the bill was tabled, accusing the British side of ''making another serious step towards confronting China''. It also charged the British of creating confusions during the transition period. The Deputy Director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Chen Ziying, accused Britain of being ''hypocritical'' by claiming that it hoped to see an 18th round of talks. The Electoral Provisions (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No 2) Bill 1993 entered into formal process of legislation after the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Michael Sze Cho-cheung, tabled it for first and second reading in yesterday's Legco sitting. The law-making body will decide tomorrow to set up bills committees to scrutinise the legislation, which provides: For the use of the ''single-seat, single-vote'' method of voting for all three tiers of geographical constituency elections; For the lowering of the voting age for all elections from 21 to 18 years, starting from the 1994 district board elections; For the abolition of appointed seats in both the district board and municipal councils, as from the next elections; For the number of elected seats in the municipal councils to be increased in 1995, as a result of the abolition of appointed seats; and That Hong Kong residents who are members of the China People's Congress at various levels, provided that they meet all the qualifications, may be elected to and serve on Legco, the municipal councils and the district boards. Tabling the bill, Mr Sze said the proposed ''single-seat, single-vote'' election method - one of the sticking points in the Sino-British talks - was widely supported by the community. ''It is important that any voting system applying to the entire electorate must be fair, must have the confidence of the community, and must be easy to operate,'' he said. Legislators did not give their comments on the first and second readings of the bills, but heated debate and lobbying can be expected in the coming weeks, given the divided views of legislators. Even the Liberal Party, which had earlier pledged to support the bill, has ordered an internal survey before deciding how to vote. Explaining the change of stance, party chairman Allen Lee Peng-fei said circumstances had changed and it was now clear that the tabling of the bill would probably lead to a breakdown of Sino-British talks and co-operation in the run-up to 1997. It is expected that Legco will finish the examination of the bill by February 23, after which the voter registration exercise for the district board elections will commence. Governor Chris Patten conceded yesterday that there would be difficulties trying to get the political reform proposal through Legco. ''But we'll be starting our dialogue with the Legislative Council . . . and I am sure that Legco would want to do what it believed to be in the best interest of the people of this remarkable community.'' In Beijing, Mr Chen said there was no longer any room for negotiations between the two countries, no matter how the bill was amended. ''Don't forget it's the British side which has unilaterally terminated the talks. What questions are there still to be discussed?'' Mr Chen asked. He also said the British were being hypocritical by claiming that there were still hopes for talks after it had brought them to a stop.