It is China's second aircraft carrier following the purchase of the Soviet-built Liaoning from Ukraine in 1998.
With a displacement of 50,000 tons, the new vessel is smaller than the 67,000-ton Liaoning, while both feature a "ski-jump" takeoff ramp. Compared with Liaoning, the new carrier has more space on deck, can carry more fighter jets, and has a more advance radar system.
Reports said China is already building its third aircraft carrier in Shanghai.
There was also some speculation that carrier's sea trials would coincide with the annual Spring Festival or Chinese New Year in mid-February.
Now in service with China has two aircraft carriers.
Military observers have been watching for signs the new aircraft carrier was about to start sea trials after photos of it being moved from its berth by tugboats were published by state media on April 23.
Neither Liaoning nor the new unnamed carrier is nuclear powered.
Hamburg relegated after 55 seasons in Bundesliga top flight
Hamburg had taken an early lead through Aaron Hunt before Gladbach's Josip Drmic levelled the score just before halftime. The clock had previously recorded the amount of time the club had been in the Bundesliga .
The Liaoning, which appears to serve as a training vessel as much as a combat ship, was the centerpiece of a naval parade of 48 ships attended last month by China's leader, Xi Jinping.
The Shandong will be able to carry up to 24 Shenyang J-15 multirole fighter jets, a variant of the fourth-generation Sukhoi Su-33 twin-engines air superiority fighter, as well as around ten rotary wing aircraft including Changshe Z-18, Ka-31, or Harbin Z-9 helicopters.
Expected to be commissioned by 2020, the ship would give China a second aircraft carrier as it asserts its claims in the South China Sea, where Taiwan has virtually identical claims.
Cui Yiliang, editor-in-chief of Modern Ships magazine, said the new carrier's sea trials will be like those of the Liao-ning, and the total time needed for the trials may be slightly shorter than the Liao-ning's because Navy personnel have had experience obtained through the Liao-ning's operations.
Its predecessor was intended more as a training base, but the new ship is likely to be deployed for combat, putting China alongside the USA, the UK, Russia and France in its global capability. They said the vessel has more than 3,600 cabins, noting that during construction, there would be at least 3,000 workers from across the country working on the ship each day.
The official Xinhua news agency confirmed that the ship had left for trials.