Pro-independence groups and political parties in Taipei yesterday conducted a “pledge of allegiance” to form a new nation amid scuffles with police as the protesters denounced the so-called “Taiwan Retrocession Day” at the site where Japan in 1945 formally surrendered Taiwan to Allied Forces at end of World War II.

“The retrocession of Taiwan, with wartime allies passing temporary custody of Taiwan to the Chinese military dictatorship regime of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) was a tragic event for Taiwanese, as it would lead to a fall back to Chinese colonialism and oppression,” said Cheng Tzu-tsai (鄭自才), chairman of Sovereign State for Formosa and the Pescadores Party, the event’s main organizer.

About 300 people gathered in the plaza in front of Zhongshan Hall (中山堂), including members of Cheng’s party, the Free Taiwan Party, the Taiwanese National Party, the Taiwanese National Congress, the From Ethnos to Nation group, the 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign and two other organizations.

Cheng said that he and other groups that advocate independence are united in their push to abolish the Republic of China (ROC) regime, to complete the process of building a sovereign, democratic Taiwan, and to severe links with China.

“We demand that the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] government carry out the terms of the peace treaty at the end of World War II by conducting a self-determination referendum among the residents of Taiwan and Penghu, which was one of the conditions put into the treaty by the victorious Allied forces,” he said.

“It is time for the DPP to discard the ROC political framework and stop equating Taiwan with it, which is a fraudulent claim,” Taiwanese National Party Chairman Tsai Chin-lung (蔡金龍) said. “We need to build a new, democratic Taiwan nation.”

The groups held banners that read “ROC is not our country,” “Taiwan and Penghu are not territories of the ROC” and “Revert to Taiwan and Penghu, establish an independent nation.”

Police officers were involved in brief scuffles after protesters threw water balloons at a plaque.

Zhongshan Hall, which was previously the Taipei Public Auditorium (台北公會堂) after it was completed in 1936, was where then-governor general of Taiwan Rikichi Ando represented the Japanese government in its handing over of Taiwan to the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime, represented by General Chen Yi (陳儀), then-chief of the Taiwan Provincial Administrative Office on Oct. 25, 1945.

The KMT recognizes the day as Taiwan Retrocession Day.

Pro-independence groups say that the Allied forces only handed temporary custody of Taiwan and Penghu to Chiang, with the long-term political status undecided at the time.