A senior adviser with the Washington-based think tank, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, says the United States does not want Pacific Island countries to have to choose between the US and China.
Ernest Bower says the two countries are focused on different areas of development in the region but there's room for better co-operation.
He says the Americans are very good at governance, development strategies, empowerment of women and rule of law and its aid can be given alongside an enlightened Chinese approach.
"We recognise the fact that the Chinese are going to be a major presence in the Pacific for a long time and we want to work with them so we're putting the hand out to do that."
Ernest Bower says the US could be co-operating better and new levels of strategic trust need to be built up between the two countries.