The four-time former world champion made 141 in the fourth frame of his comprehensive win to become the only the second player after Ronnie O’Sullivan to reach the landmark.
The 48-year-old will now face Kyren Wilson, who won the 2015 Shanghai Masters, in the last 16 of the event, which sees professional snooker‘s return to mainland China for the first time since 2019.
“I think I’m playing pretty decent stuff. That obviously helps to be a little bit more motivated,” Higgins said on the World Snooker Tour website.
“I am trying to preserve my place in the top 16 to be in these tournaments, but I’ve got my work cut out for the whole year to make sure I am still in the top 16.”
Scottish Open champion Gary Wilson was beaten 6-2 by China’s Fan Zhengyi.
Believing the contest to be best-of-nine frames rather than 11, Wilson had offered his hand at the end of frame six.
Despite taking the next to reduce the deficit, he was unable to mount a comeback.
Hossein Vafaei made three century breaks as he saw off wildcard Gong Chen 6-1, while Ali Carter beat Chinese amateur Dong Zihao 6-2 and goes on to play O’Sullivan, who won the last Shanghai Masters in 2019 for a third straight tournament victory.
Ding Junhui defeated 21-year-old compatriot Si Jiahui 6-2, while in Monday’s late match Jack Lisowski edged out Zhou Yuelong 6-5 in a last-frame decider to book a place in the second round against good friend Judd Trump.