Foreign Minister Penny Wong has urged Pacific nations Australia still wants to be a partner of choice for the region amid growing uncertainty.
On the second day of her trip to Fiji, Senator Wong warned of the potential consequences for other Pacific nations following the Solomon Islands signing a controversial security pact with China.
Senator Wong is set to meet Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, following talks with leading government officials.
She said the security of the Pacific should be determined by Pacific nations.
"We want to be a partner of choice and demonstrate to your nation and other nations in the region that we are a partner who can be trusted and reliable, and historically we have been," she told reporters in Fiji on Friday.
"We have expressed our concerns publicly about the security agreement between the Solomon Islands and China and the reason why is because we have, as do other Pacific nations, we think there are consequences."
It comes as China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi embarked on a tour of the Pacific, with the Solomon Islands and Fiji among the countries set to be visited.
However, Senator Wong said the visit from the Chinese minister did not influence Australia's decision to visit Fiji in the wake of Labor's election victory.
"I was very keen to come to the Pacific as soon as I became foreign minister, this is my first bilateral visit," she said.
"I wanted to come back here because it is important to underline and emphasise the importance of our provided partnership and the importance of the Pacific family."
Earlier in the visit, Senator Wong used a speech to stress Australia was listening to the concerns of Pacific nations, particularly on climate change.
The foreign minister said there had been a lost decade on climate change action under the previous coalition government and that she was determined to make up for it.
Senator Wong said the major decisions when it comes to security in the region needed to be decided by countries in the area.
"It is for Pacific nations to make their own decisions about who they want to partner with and in which areas, and we respect that," she said.
"We want to work with you on your priorities and as part of the Pacific family."
Australian Associated Press
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