Dame Meg Taylor was speaking at a Pacific Island development forum hosted by China in Samoa this week.
Countries needed to be more ambitious than meeting Paris Agreement targets, she said, and China could be an "important ally" by taking the lead in "escalating its ambition level and its commitments" under the Paris Agreement.
"To just meet our Paris targets is no longer enough," she said at the third China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum.
China had made gains in renewable energy, accounting for 32 percent of global investments in the industry and leading the world installed capacity of hydropower, solar and wind energy, Dame Meg said.
There were also opportunities for tourism cooperation between China and the Pacific, said Dame Meg.
"The Pacific's unique cultures and environmental beauty provide China with one of world's most sought-after tourist destinations right on its doorstep."