After supposedly told of "government orders" to leave China, Fu Ping found herself in a quagmire, as she described in Pages 258-260 of Bend, Not Break:
I was happy to learn that my family had begun to make arrangements for me to live overseas. However, one major obstacle still remained: I needed to obtain an official passport from the Nanjing provincial government in order to leave the country. Chinese officials did not always communicate with one another or conduct thorough background checks unless an event triggered it. I was sure that when the Nanjing provincial passport office inevitably checked my personal record, they would discover the black mark from my Red Maple Society activities at Suzhou University. That might very well be enough reason for them to deny me a passport.Her story after that is too long to be reproduced here. In summary:
- She went to "the police station" and volunteered her "black mark" to "a beautiful young policewoman" and asked for help.
- The policewoman is moved by her story of investigating infanticide.
- A week later, Fu Ping found a handwritten note under the door at her home in Nanjing, telling her "to be at the Five Dragon Bridge at two p.m."
- The policewoman met her at the bridge. "With a glance over her shoulder to be sure that no one was watching, she pulled several dozen sheets of paper out of a thick brown envelop" and gave them to Fu Ping.
- The policewoman took the rest of the file and left. Four hours later, she came back with a grin, got the sheets from Fu Ping and returned them to the envelop.
- A few weeks later, Fu Ping got her passport in the mail.