Trending: Heated debate over China's aid to Philippines

A man pushes a rickshaw through a demolished street in Leyte, Philippines

The world has been shocked by the typhoon in the Philippines, and many nations have pledged money, including China. But the Chinese aid contribution has been a source of controversy on social media in China - highlighting the tensions between the two countries.

Across the sea from the Philippines, China is the region's superpower. But the level of aid Beijing should give to storm victims has become a big issue there - with the country now upping its contribution from $100,000 (£60,000) to $1.6m (£1m). There has been sharp political discussion on social media over the sum of money involved - with some Chinese arguing it's too low, and others questioning whether it's appropriate to help out a foe at all.

News items posted on Sina Weibo have attracted thousands of comments, many of them unsympathetic. "Chinese money is money as well," writes one user on Weibo, arguing that even giving a small sum to the Philippines is like "smiling at someone who hurts you". Another says there's no point sending money to a nation "that doesn't know the meaning of 'Thank you'".

"One thinks of the Chinese internet as a liberal space, but there is the other side of it, which is the nationalist side," says Jeremy Goldkorn, founder and director of Danwei, which tracks Chinese social media.

At the moment, China is locked in a bitter territorial dispute with the Philippines over islands in the South China Sea, and "nationalist sentiments can appear very nasty," he says.

This however, says Goldkorn, "is representative of a genuine mindset in China" where territorial disputes are something "even liberal or cosmopolitan people feel strongly about".

That said, many clearly disagree. After China increased its aid money, many took to social media to express support for the gesture. One encouraged people to "support the Chinese government's extra humanitarian money".

"Nationalism has distorted some people's values, which is not a very good tendency," said the user, who goes by the handle Nine Flavours Calm Tea.

Reporting by Mukul Devichand