Kerry tells China to reduce tension in disputed South China Sea

BEIJING (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged China to take action to reduce tension in the South China Sea and expressed concern about the pace and scope of Beijing's land reclamation in the disputed area.

Kerry, speaking at a joint news conference with China's foreign minister, Wang Yi, said China and the United States were committed to finalising a deal that would block paths for Iran to obtain fissile material.

Kerry spoke at the start of a two-day China tour dominated by deepening security concern about China's maritime ambitions in the South China Sea.

China's rapid reclamation effort around seven reefs in the Spratly archipelago of the South China Sea has alarmed claimants such as the Philippines and Vietnam.

(Reporting By David Brunnstrom and Michael Martina, Writing by Sui-Lee Wee)