The Pacific Islands region is one where Australia's diplomatic influence intersects most obviously with a rising China. Australia has the influence, the motivation and the capacity to work with China to create better development outcomes for island countries and enhance its own standing in the region.
China wants to be seen as a globally responsible player. If China can demonstrate it is both committed to helping the Pacific Islands tackle priority challenges (rather than contributing to their debt problems) and to collaborating with the region's most significant partner, this constructive approach would be noticed internationally. And it would not lessen the appreciation of island countries for Chinese aid.