Fiji warns it faces 'devastating' climate change threat
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This weekend's Shangri-La Dialogue, which brings together defence ministers from Asia and around the world, has been dominated by the United States and China sparring over Taiwan.
It also comes as Beijing jostles with Western powers for influence over Pacific island nations.
"Machine guns, fighter jets, ships... are not our primary security concern," he told hundreds of delegates at the event in Singapore.
"Waves are crashing at our doorsteps, winds are battering our homes, we are being assaulted by this enemy from many angles."
Other low-lying Pacific island nations also face threats from climate change. These range from cyclones that are becoming more regular and powerful, to rising seas.
Ahead of last year's key climate talks in Glasgow, Pacific states warned they were bearing the brunt of global warming and urged wealthy, industrialised nations to do more.
Fiji was among 10 Pacific nations that last month rebuffed China's push for a wide-ranging security pact amid worries the proposal was designed to pull them into Beijing's orbit.
The failure of the plan, which would have directly challenged the influence of the United States and its allies in the strategically vital region, amounted to a high-profile political setback for Beijing.