Hong Kong's political development and the road map for universal suffrage were among issues discussed in a meeting between Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday. In a 20-minute meeting described as 'cordial', Mr Tsang said the rule of law, freedom and human rights, and a level playing field for businesses, had been maintained in Hong Kong. Mr Tsang also told Dr Rice there had been 'a diversity of views' on universal suffrage and that he had made a pledge to resolve the issue during his term in office, a government statement said. The two leaders met at Dr Rice's hotel in Sydney, where they are both attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation meeting. Meanwhile, in a panel meeting in the Legislative Council, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Stephen Lam Sui-lung said the concluding report on the green paper would be submitted to the central authorities shortly after the consultation period ends on October 10. 'We're talking about a matter of weeks and months, not years,' Mr Lam said. Pan-democrats have been urging the administration to come clean on its timetable after former chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, Tsang Yok-sing, said Beijing would make its stance on universal suffrage clear in February, thereby initiating another round of consultations. Mr Tsang, also an executive councillor, said the chance of universal suffrage in 2012 was 'very slim', and reiterated that his comments had been accurately reported. Emily Lau Wai-hing, of The Frontier, said people were calling into question why, after having passed the consultation paper, executive councillors could now say that its contents were not possible. Mr Lam reiterated that members of political parties were entitled to express their opinions and the government had no fixed position on any key issues yet. He added that the government's timetable would not be clear until it had assessed the response to the green paper and whether a consensus could be reached. Mr Lam also came under attack for the way public forums have been conducted so far. The Civic Party's Ronny Tong Ka-wah asked him: 'After two months, is the government really satisfied with the public response to this consultation so far?' He said two public forums attended by Mr Lam were 'hijacked by certain political parties', and participants had read from prepared scripts. Medical sector lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki added that Mr Lam's visits to the 18 district councils also had limited value since they were filled with more than 100 councillors appointed by the chief executive. In Sydney, Dr Rice complimented Hong Kong on its efforts in cracking terrorism through strict measures against money laundering.