New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The nine-month-long military standoff between India and China across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh ended earlier this month after the sides agreed to withdraw troops from the forward positions.

With the two sides agreeing to withdraw troops, India's Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General Yogesh Kumar Joshi has revealed that New Delhi and Beijing were at the brink of war on August 31 last year but it "was actually averted due to fragile conditions".

Speaking to reporters, General Joshi, a Kargil veteran, said that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) was baffled after the Indian troops captured the strategically important Kailash Ranges in South Bank on August 29 and 30 and had launched a counter operation to recapture the peaks.

"Those were very tense and challenging moments for us. The Chinese had increased their presence in the region and had deployed heavy tanks. In response to the Chinese aggression, we also deployed our troops and tanks," General Joshi said, adding that the Army was given "an absolutely free hand" to handle the situation.

Talking about the deadly Galwan Valley clash, General Joshi, who can speak Mandarin fluently, said that China roughly suffered more than 60 casualties but noted that he can't confirm whether they were fatal or non-fatal.

The nine-month-long military standoff between India and China came to an end earlier this month after the two sides agreed to withdraw troops in a "phased and verifiable" manner.

Giving details in the Parliament, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that India has not "conceded anything" and noted that the country has identified several strategic points in eastern Ladakh and has positioned troops there to counter any Chinese threat.

"Chinese side will keep its troop presence in the North Bank area to east of Finger 8. Indian troops will be based at their permanent base at Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3. Similar action would be taken in the South Bank area by both sides," Rajnath had said.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma