It's a sign of things to come — Iron Man 3 is getting funding (and input) from Chinese sources. A Chinese marketing and entertainment group, DMG, is putting money into the Tony Stark threequel, and in return they're getting to make it more China-centric. (DMG, for what it's worth, also funded a near-hagiographic film about Chairman Mao.)
The BBC quotes Disney's general manager for China, Stanley Cheung, as saying:
We know Chinese audiences love Iron Man. So we are going to add Chinese elements and a Chinese story into Iron Man 3.
China is becoming a huge market for American films, and is slowly loosening restrictions on how many U.S. films can be shown there. So this is one way for Iron Man 3 to get more funding and secure a huge potential audience. And perhaps, if Iron Man 3 does end up featuring the Fu Manchu-inspired villain The Mandarin, having some input from actual Chinese people could be, you know, helpful.
In any case, this isn't the first time this has happened — Looper, Rian Johnson's long-awaited time-travel movie, only got made because of funding from DMG. And in return the movie was tweaked so that in the future when time travel is invented, China is the world's only superpower. And Chinese movie star Xu Qing was added to Looper as well.