CHINA'S top man in charge of Hong Kong policy, Lu Ping, yesterday poured cold water on hopes for next month's summit between Chinese Vice-Premier Qian Qichen and Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd. ''Judging from the present atmosphere, do you think the atmosphere will be good? I don't think the atmosphere will get much better,'' Mr Lu said. ''But no matter how, we still hope the relationship between China and Britain will improve through the talks between the two foreign ministers,'' he said in Beijing. Mr Lu, the Director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, was speaking before meeting a delegation from the Bar Association. Britain's Foreign Office spokesman in Hong Kong, Bill Dickson, said last night that one of the themes of the summit - to be held in New York - would be how to get the Joint Liaison Group (JLG) talks moving faster to solve the large volume of outstanding issues. A senior government source said the administration was confused by conflicting statements made by Chinese officials about co-operation with Britain on non-political issues following the passage of the political reform bill on June 29. Mr Lu said approval of the bill meant there was nothing more to discuss on the fate of the three-tier political structure after 1997. The National People's Congress Standing Committee, which begins a meeting today, had to take ''corresponding measures'' to put into law the termination of the political structure on July 1, 1997, he said. Mr Lu said the participation of pro-China forces in the district board elections and their opposition to the reform package were separate matters. Bar Association chairman Ronny Wong Fook-hum, QC, said Mr Lu had stressed China would abide by the 1991 Sino-British agreement on setting up of the court of final appeal when the JLG resumed discussions on the matter next month. The deal, which fixed the ratio of overseas and local judges at one-to-four, has been rejected by the legal profession as contravening the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. Mr Wong said the association remained firm that there should be no limit on the number of overseas judges. He quoted Mr Lu as saying that China wanted to have the court set up before 1997.