Well... from lots of reports in the net, the Chinese pilots do practiced alot on mock up carrier on land. Of course that is different from the real thing, but it is good practice.
Ski Jump is a very useful system, it enable the plane to accelerate and gain enough speed for take off. If not, they will need longer airstrip. Of course the steam catapult system is more useful in many ways, being able to project the aircraft with external force to enable the plane to reach the speed needed for it to fly... yet underlining network of pipes and stuff like that make the entire aircraft carrier pretty large and power consumption is incredible unless China or any nation master the nuclear power system needed on the ship, it is very very difficult to achieve that goal.
Of course there are other innovation on the way (such as EMAL system that will definitely reduce or remove the number of pipes underlining the carrier top deck) but these innovations are too new and early in their stage so I am not expecting to see them in use for at least another decade.
All in all, it is a good effort by the Chinese and do note that the first aircraft carrier in the Chinese arsenal was only for testing and training purposes, so that in 2014 (as many reports had stated) they would have a crew ready to operate in 2 indigenously developed and launched aircraft carriers. But I do believe that these new aircraft carriers would be ski jump too and not yet catapult launch because if they are going to be catapult launch aircraft carrier, then by now we should be seeing mockup on land.