On the 1-year ranking list, Zhou Yuelong is the best Chinese player, followed by Lu Ning. It just shows how stupid all these ranking lists are. How can the Masters not count when assessing a player's strength?
Actually, Yan Bingtao hasn't had a good season at all. All players have been affected in different ways by 2020 lockdowns, so it's very difficult to be objective or to make predictions going into 2021.
But the fact that Yan can reach the Masters' final playing his B-game, and the maturity he has shown in his matches, says a lot about his abilities.
Put it another way: Ding choked against O'Sullivan. Yan wobbled against Bingham, but came through. That's probably a more significant indicator than £'s won in selected tournaments over an arbitrary time-period.