A Chinese foreign aid scholar says the region is likely to see more trilateral aid projects involving China like the Cook islands Te Mato Vai water project.
China and New Zealand have worked together on the multimillion scheme to pipe water around Rarotonga and China is also working with Australia on malaria diagnosis and research in Papua New Guinea.
Deng Hua Zhang said China was learning lessons about aid delivery and monitoring.
"To me that is being small but being smart. My idea is that the Chinese government will continue to test this kind of trilateral aid co-operation in the near future including in the Pacific region but the Chinese government will continue to be very cautious about this kind of experimentation."
Deng Hua Zhang said China would focus on aid to less sensitive sectors such as agriculture, public health and climate change.