Xinjiang Finewool sheep were among the first of the Chinese
breeds and they played a part in the establishment of other breeds. The
original crosses were between Russian Merino rams, probably of the Caucasian,
Precoce, and Stravrapol types, with local breeds of ewe. The most important of
these breeds was the Kazakh, but some Mongolian ewes were also used.
There followed a program of backcrossing to the Merino
parent, with some interbreeding and selection. Australian rams were used to a
limited extend during the 1970s in the development of the Xinjiang breed. The
Xinjiang Finewool is a dual-purpose sheep with emphasis placed on wool
production and body weight.