Email            Embed

In a rare move by Beijing, three Chinese warships sailed near contested islands in the East China Sea Monday, two days after President Trump's new Defense Secretary visited Japan and vowed to defend the islands.

FOX's Lucas Tomlinson has more from the Pentagon:

U.S. defense officials tell FOX the Chinese Coast Guard ships sailed within Japan's territorial waters near the Senkaku islands.

A chain of uninhabited islands located roughly 140 miles north east of Taiwan.

President Trump's new Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, speaking in Tokyo, said China "has shredded the trust" of countries in the region by building up man-made islands in the South China Sea.

Reacting to Mattis, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman urged the United States to stop making wrong remarks and avoid making the issue more complicated.

Mattis also visited South Korea on his first overseas trip as Defense Secretary.

At the Pentagon, Lucas Tomlinson, FOX News.

Follow Lucas Tomlinson on Twitter: @LucasFOXNews