She was soon rewarded for her aggression though as some fearless visits to the net coupled with 24 winners gave her the first set via a tiebreaker.
Second seed Vera Lapko progressed to the last eight with a 6-2 6-4 win over Ivana Jorovic and will face Mona Barthel following her 7-5 4-6 6-4 victory against Evgeniya Rodina. It was nice to be able to take a couple of my opportunities in the third.
Halep, who injured herself in training earlier this week, offered some resistance in the second set after a bad start to the match, but could not prevent an early exit in her first tournament since the US Open.
Barty started strongly against the 39th-ranked Pavlyuchenkova, taking the first set 6-2.
In-form Barty is now ranked 17th in the world, and a strong finish in Wuhan - a WTA Premier 5 tournament with 900 points for the victor - could help her inch up the rankings before the end of the season.
As for Puig, she is next scheduled to square off against local hope Qiang Wang on Thursday.
"From the beginning of the season, the goal has been top 20 for this year", she said.
Meanwhile, Bernard Tomic fought off a match point to come through 7-6 (7-5) 2-6 7-6 (8-6) against Lloyd Harris. On Wednesday it was the turn of Puig to send more shock waves through the field of the Wuhan Open as she knocked-out the world number two, Wozniacki.
But it was a short-lived fightback as Barty, Australia s top-ranked player, quickly regained control while Kerber struggled to contain unforced errors.
As Puig broke again to take a 4-3 lead, she would even begin to deploy a strategy of judicious net play to excellent effect, bringing the former World No.1 in with a dropshot before putting her own volley away, and more exquisite net play paved the way to another break for 6-5.