Sven-Goran Eriksson's side came out on top in a thrilling encounter as they closed the gap to the top two and strengthened their grip on the final AFC Champions League place.
There was late drama as Abderrazak Hamdallah scored deep into stoppage time after the hosts had thrown away a two-goal lead.
Zhang Yuan's strike and an Eleilson own goal had put R&F in command but Sun Ke reduced the deficit after the break and Eleilson made amends by levelling it up five minutes into injury-time.
But there was still time for Hamdallah to net his 11th league goal of the campaign as R&F were the only top-half side to register maximum points.
Second-place Beijing Guoan suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat to lowly Henan Jianye - Shao Jiayi's late goal proving a mere consolation - while leaders Guangzhou Evergrande were held by Shandong Luneng.
Recent signing Alberto Gilardino was not among the matchday squad as the defending champions stuttered.
Bottom side Harbin Yiteng gave their hopes of beating the drop a boost with a convincing 4-0 win over mid-table Guizhou Renhe - Dori and Ricardo Steer each scoring a brace.
It moves them six points behind Lianoing Whowin, who were beaten by a late Lucas Viatri goal at Shanghai Shenhua.
Shanghai Shenxin suffered a second successive loss as they were beaten 2-1 at Dalian Aerbin, while the points were shared in a 1-1 draw between Shanghai SIPG and Tianjin Teda.
Elsewhere, Hangzhou recorded a 3-2 win at Changchun Yatai courtesy of Davy Angan's last-gasp strike.
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