Read the passage below and solve the questions based on it.
Though the last twenty-five years have seen China dazzle the world with its excellent economic performance it has shied away from playing the kind of active role in international affairs that would seem commensurate with its economic weight. This is because traditionally China’s politics have been defined by the need for economic development above all else. In the past China’s authorities have tended to downplay the country’s international clout, choosing to stress instead its developing country status and limited military capabilities. Such modest rhetoric was intended to allay the fears that China’s rise was causing across its immediate neighborhood. That Beijing is finally acknowledging its status as a major player in the international system is evidenced by the fact that the President has formally developed a theory of international relations; the concept of harmonious world. The concept, encompassing broad notions of multilateralism, prosperity for all through common development and tolerance for diversity has left world opinion perplexed. These are commendable objectives but the theory is short on specifics regarding the means to achieve them.
China’s recent willingness to be a more active player internationally stems from complex factors. The country’s economic strength—having acquired the largest foreign exchange reserves in the world—is undeniable and reports favor it to be the largest economy in the next quarter of a century. For sustained double digit economic growth China thus has no choice but to become more active internationally. Moreover as a major proportion of the oil and other natural resources that China needs to feed its growing economy are imported, Beijing has to aggressively woo the countries rich in energy resources, which also represent emerging markets for Chinese products. To ensure a stable security environment within the region and thus facilitate economic growth. China played an active role in facilitating negotiations with North Korea. Destabilization of a potential flashpoint like the Korean peninsula would lead to a flood of refugees crossing the border, interrupting careful plans of economic rejuvenation of China’s North—East. China’s growing influence has caused a shift in the geopolitical status quo and its influence is beginning to replace that of the United States and European powers in Africa. China’s new diplomacy though has had its share of critics who have expressed their unease at China’s military modernization programme and its willingness to deal with regimes widely condemned as corrupt and oppressive. Despite this when this when the Africa was in need of aid and infrastructure or the US needed help in negotiating with Korea they turned to China. By taking a lead in a variety of international and regional forums, initiating bilateral and military exchanges and dispensing aid and technical assistance in parts of the world where traditional powers are cautions to tread China has signed that its days of sitting on the sidelines, content to let others shape world affairs are emphatically over.
Why has China traditionally been a passive spectator in global affairs?