AN attempt by China to block legislators' approval of another $1.67 billion for airport projects appeared to have failed last night, with councillors still pledging support for construction to proceed full speed without China's blessing. The crucial vote will be taken at today's Legislative Council Finance Committee meeting. Forty legislators last night vowed to vote for the Government's request for cash to cover the Provisional Airport Authority's running costs and three urgent airport-related contracts to keep up the momentum of construction. The legislators include 13 from the United Democrats, 15 from Liberal Party, four from the Meeting Point and eight independents. They met separately to decide their position last night, while China was launching a fresh bout of criticism at Britain's handling of the projects in an effort to undermine the Government's case for pressing ahead with an attempt to meet the completion date of mid-1997. Director of the Chinese State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO), Lu Ping, said Governor Chris Patten was solely to blame for the delay of the airport projects. Mr Lu and Foreign Ministry spokesman, Wu Jianmin, insisted that the British Hong Kong administration should observe the Memorandum of Understanding on the new airport projects. And a lengthy commentary issued by the Hong Kong China News Agency (HKCNA) last night warned that before any financial accord was reached between the two sides, any unilateral action by the British side would not be conducive to finding a solution to thefinancing problems. In response, a Government spokesman said: ''We are surprised to see suggestions that we are breaching the memorandum and taking unilateral action.'' The spokesman stressed that what the Government was doing was totally in line with the airport memorandum to complete the projects to the maximum extent possible by 1997. But in Shenzhen, Mr Lu blasted the Governor, rejecting Mr Patten's remarks that China was held responsible for the delay of the airport plan. ''Mr Patten said that the responsibility rested with the Chinese side, it was the Chinese side who delayed the projects. Would you please go and tell him that Britain is solely responsible for the delay,'' he said. ''The airport problem can be resolved immediately, by Britain returning to the track of the memorandum as soon as possible. ''The problem now is with Mr Patten. He is completely violating the memorandum. Therefore the responsibility should lie with the British side. Please tell him that.'' In Beijing, Mr Wu said in compliance with the airport memorandum, China had already put forward a whole set of proposals for settling the debt burden of the future Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), increasing the cost-effectiveness of the airport project and intensifying necessary supervisory mechanism. Mr Wu added that China now hoped to see a favourable response from the British side.