Well there were a few reasons
- They pretty much had all they needed resource-wise in the country, trade was not a prerogative and even though Zheng He did go out exploring they were not interested in colonies or mercantilism.
- Mercantilism was pretty much frowned upon within the Confucian system, merchants did not produce goods they moved them around and made money which made them a drain on the system. The few who were enterprising and maybe came up with some new product might often find themselves in competition from the government
- The Emperor system considered itself the center of the world, the focus of the heavens. When outsiders came they gave tribute and fealty to the Emperor, so the outside world came to them, they did not need to go out
Imperial China didn't need the outside trade, they were a large country that didn't have need for resources from the outside and their technology at that point was sophisticated enough for what they needed. I've often wondered what would happen if they did not stop their explorations with Zheng He as some of the archaeology I have seen on ships from that era were innovative and very interesting. They seemed to be able to sail fairly far with their ships, which were extremely large (although I don't know converted numbers off the top of my head) although there were issues with rising piracy in the Malay Peninsula as well as storms.
Recent conservation efforts have shown numerous ship wrecks off the Chinese coast on the way to the Malay Peninsula, wrecks that are only now being explored and providing insight into shipping that DID continue after the Qing closed off the country. Look at recent issues of Archaeology magazine for more on the wrecks, they had a couple of stories recently that were interesting on how the shipping continued as the merchants converted to Piracy (or basically being called pirates) by continuing trade against Imperial Edicts.