U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pauses as he listens to a question during a news conference in Beijing February 14, 2014. (REUTERS/Evan Vucci/Pool)
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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday appealed for China's help in bringing a belligerent North Korea back to nuclear disarmament talks but faced an uncertain response as the request was accompanied by demands for Beijing to roll back a series of increasingly aggressive steps it has taken to assert itself in territorial disputes with its smaller neighbors.China has angrily dismissed U.S criticism over its moves in the East and South China seas that have alarmed U.S. allies like Japan and the Philippines.China's leverage with the North is being tested.As Kerry tries to prod the Chinese on North Korea, he will also be delivering a stern message on the competing territorial claims and China's bitter dispute with Japan.China has rejected U.S. criticism of its actions in the past and is expected to do so again in response to Kerry's visit.Meeting later Friday with senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi, Kerry said U.S.-China cooperation is important not only for the two countries, but for the region and the world as a whole.
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