I went through the process of applying for the permits a while ago. I originally got in touch with Zeng Lin in Xianjing province, who is the guy i think you're talking about. From what ive heard he just meets you at the border, gives you the papers and then meets you at the Pakistan border to get you out. I think he can only arrange permits to allow you to bridge the gap between the 'Stans' and the Karakoram highway in Pakistan.
Zeng gave me the number and email of his frien Huang Wei in Beijing. He can arrange the permits for any other areas of the country. It takes at least 3 months though as your whole route needs to be apporved by army etc. in each province you pass through.
I didn't end up actually getting the permits as we ran out of time and changed route, but they were both very helpful and speak good english. For Zeng Lin use email@example.com
david [-at-] wrongway1971.com
CYTS Xinjiang International Tour Co., Ltd
No. 9 Jianshe Road Urumqi, Xinjiang
China Post Code: 830002
limu321 [-at-] sina.com.cn
as Grant just did...
[This message has been edited by Grant Johnson (edited 07 December 2005).]