Cabinet minister Dan Tehan has rejected the suggestion Pacific Island nations may be more willing to work with China than Australia after a testy meeting of the region's leaders.
Mr Tehan made his view clear when asked whether he's concerned the tension at the Pacific Islands Forum may cause some nations to lean on China over Australia.
"No, I'm not, because there was also a lot of positive sentiment which came out of it," the education minister told reporters in Melbourne on Sunday.
This week's forum ended with a statement calling on major economies to "rapidly implement their commitment to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies".
Many of the forum members had wanted to single out coal-fired power for its impact on the climate.
But the language was rejected in the final document, with Australia taking a tough approach to negotiations.
Small island states had also called for an immediate global ban on new coal-fired power plants and coal mines.
Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama later launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his deputy prime minister over their attitude towards their regional neighbours.
In an interview with Guardian Australia, he accused Mr Morrison of being "very insulting and condescending" during the leaders retreat.
Asked if the Australian leader's approach might cause some Pacific leaders to look to China, Mr Bainimarama said: "After what we went through with Morrison, nothing can be worse than him."
"China never insults the Pacific."
Mr Tehan insists the Fijian leader had nice things to say as well.
"As we heard from the Fijian prime minister, both Australia and New Zealand were thanked for the way that they are cooperating in the Pacific," he said.
"Obviously when there's negotiations at international forums, there will always be countries that put their views quite strongly, and are looking after their interests quite strongly, but in the end agreement was reached."
Labor frontbencher Penny Wong said her party, like the coalition, wouldn't have supported a ban on new coal mines as some small nations had wanted.
But she has accused the coalition of failing on other scores, including not having realistic policies for reducing emissions.
"The point is, these negotiations proceeded on the basis of an Australian government that did not understand or respect the importance of climate to Pacific Island nations," she told ABC's Insiders.
There have been concerns about China exerting its influence in the region and Senator Wong said the way the forum played out won't help Australia be seen by its neighbours as a "partner of choice".
"I think we have diminished our influence in the Pacific with our refusal to take climate change seriously."
Australian Associated Press