Big delegations from the United States and China are attending the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu.
New Zealand and Australia will also be there, with China's growing influence is expected to be high on the agenda.
TVNZ Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver told Andrew Dickens there is going to be a lot of nudging and pushing between the US and China because of the strategic value of the Pacific.
She says China wants in because of the access to fisheries and a shipping lane, and a possible military base.
Dreaver says Australia has faced scorn for increasing the size of its coal mines, with Tuvalu refusing aid from Australia.
"They have come out and said we are suffering from climate change, we have more storms and have water bubbling out from the ground, which I have personally seen myself.”