The European Union is stockpiling rare earths, vital for many high-technology industries, to reduce its dependence on China, a spokesman for the EU industry commissioner said on Tuesday.

Firstly we are working to secure supplies of these minerals from outside of the EU, such as from Latin America, or from Africa or other countries like Russia. Secondly we are stockpiling -- to better profit from the material that we have in the EU, Andrea Maresi, press officer for EU Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani said.

We are trying to improve our sourcing and reduce our dependence on China.

(Reporting by Juliane von Reppert; Bismarck; Editing by Anthony Barker)