Yu's colleague Daragh McDowell, principal Russia analyst at Verisk Maplecroft, explained that a lack of trust is partly to blame for the countries' materially loose cooperation.
"Moscow remains suspicious of foreign ownership in the Russian economy whatever its origin, which is a source of frustration for Chinese business," McDowell said.
That's compounded by weak Russian domestic demand and a struggling economy more broadly, Jackson explained.
While there was a brief spike in Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) into Russia in early 2014, FDI has otherwise been pretty small, he added.
Some of the most notable deals to take have been large infrastructure projects.
Those include the Power of Siberia pipeline which will help fulfill a 30-year gas supply contract to China. Signed in 2014, it was hailed as Gazprom's biggest contract to date. Additionally, the Yamal LNG project is a liquified natural gas plant in Russia's arctic that's secured $12 billion in financing from The Export-Import Bank of China and China Development Bank earlier this year.
As a result, Chinese investors own 49 percent of the Yamal LNG project, Wefer detailed.
"However, Russia's decision to begin issuing renminbi (yuan) denominated bonds in late 2015 indicates Moscow is keen to create the financial infrastructure for smaller scale, private investment projects to get off the ground," McDowell noted.