Former Communist Party Chairman Zhao Ziyang died in a Beijing hospital "after failing to respond to all emergency treatment", Xinhua reported. Zhao was a pivotal figure in the early days of China's economic reforms and regarded as a likely successor to then leader Deng Xiaoping. However, he had not been seen in public since the 1989 Tiananmen protests when he was accused of supporting pro-democracy campaigners and placed under house arrest. In a brief report Xinhua said that "Comrade Zhao had long suffered from multiple diseases affecting his respiratory and cardiovascular systems." Reuters cited analysts saying the markets would be on guard on for any political fallout from Zhao's death.